Road safety: epilepsy, diabetes… certain pathologies have an influence on driving

Road safety: epilepsy, diabetes… certain pathologies have an influence on driving

Discomfort during exercise, visual disturbances, dizziness… so many symptoms that should alert you before getting behind the wheel. In its new prevention campaign, Road Safety reminds that in addition to alcohol and drug consumption, certain pathologies can also have a harmful influence on driving.

These conditions are listed in a list established by the government in conjunction with the learned societies of each specialty. This includes the most serious cardiac pathologies, which are likely to cause sudden discomfort, epilepsy or even significant vision problems. If a person suffers from it, their treating doctor must inform them of the compulsory procedure, namely to undergo a driving fitness test at the prefecture in order to validate or not the license.

The list of pathologies was revised last year. Drivers with uncomplicated diabetes and whose treatment does not cause a risk of hypoglycemia are, for example, no longer required to pass this medical check.

Aging of the population

Cognitive disorders, such as “memory problems”, have, on the other hand, been added, recalls Dr Claire Siret, president of the public health section at the National Council of the Order of Physicians. People suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, must stop driving as soon as cognitive decline appears. “It’s topical, with the aging of the population,” explains the general practitioner.

In one of the two radio columns broadcast during the Road Safety campaign, general practitioner Yves Conti recalls that addictions also risk having an impact on driving. “Alcohol, and other psychoactive products such as medications or narcotics, are found in nearly 40% of fatal accidents,” underlines Road Safety.

Specific symptoms, such as chest pain, overwhelming drowsiness or loss of balance, should obviously prompt you to consult a doctor, adds Yves Conti. “You have to be reasonable, it is a matter of civil and civic responsibility not to take your car in these moments,” continues Claire Sibet.

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