Driving disability and dizziness

J Safety Res. 2003;34(4):361-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2003.09.009.


Problem: People with dizziness caused by vestibular (i.e., inner ear) disorders complain of difficulty driving. Physicians occasionally warn their patients with vestibular disorders not to drive. Few studies have asked patients about their driving performance, so little data are available.

Method: Using the Driving Habits Questionnaire, the authors did structured interviews with people with several different vestibular disorders and with normal subjects. The self-reported crash rate and rate of citations for moving violations did not differ between the subject groups.

Results: Patients report reduced driving skills, particularly in situations when visual information is reduced, rapid head movements are used, and specific path integration or spatial navigation skills are needed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness / etiology
  • Dizziness / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Meniere Disease / complications*
  • Meniere Disease / diagnosis
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vestibular Diseases / complications*
  • Vestibular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Vestibular Diseases / rehabilitation
  • Visual Perception