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Epilepsy and Driving: A Survey of Canadian Neurologists

Richard S. McLachlan and Michael W. Jones

Abstract: Background: A seizure is the most common cause of loss of driving privileges for medical reasons but there is variability in how physicians and the authorities who regulate driving approach this issue. Methods: A questionnaire regarding epilepsy and driving was sent to all adult neurologists in Canada (n = 494). Results: Of 289 (59%) neurologists responding, 50% usually report patients with seizures to the department of motor vehicles compared to only 4% for stroke/TIA, 26% for dementia and 8% for other neurologic disorders (p < 0.0001). In the five provinces with mandatory reporting laws, seizures were reported most of the time by 84% compared to only 19% in the five provinces with discretionary reporting (p < 0.0001). Nationwide, 44% agreed with mandatory reporting but this also differed in provinces with and without mandatory reporting legislation (63% vs. 37%, p < 0.0001). Only 49% agreed with the current recommendation of at least one year seizure free interval before resuming driving. Conclusions: Seizures are disproportionately reported compared to other neurological conditions. Many neurologists disagree with the recommended Canadian standards for duration of driving restriction after seizures. Variability in the attitude and practice of neurologists in regard to reporting of seizures is confirmed.


Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 1997; 24: 345-349


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