Epilepsy and driving in North Carolina: an exploratory study

Accid Anal Prev. 1989 Aug;21(4):389-93. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(89)90032-8.


Epileptic drivers offer a risk to the general driving population, both because of affected brain function and because of possible effects of medication. A 1982 pilot study examined the driving records of 112 persons using North Carolina Division of Health Services clinics for the treatment of epilepsy who also held a North Carolina driver's license. Of those undergoing treatment in the clinics, 26% were known by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to be epileptics. This group had a reported crash rate 1.4 times that of the general driving population, whereas the rate for epileptics not known to the DMV was 1.1 times the general rate. Epileptics with grand mal and temporal or psychomotor seizures accounted for all recorded crashes. Implications for highway safety administrators and for future research are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • North Carolina
  • Pilot Projects