Can I still drive with Parkinson’s disease? Driving is an essential part of a person’s independence. Individuals with PD can most likely continue driving in the early stages or when medication is properly controlling symptoms. It is important to exercise regularly to maintain the strength you need to drive and discuss your ability to drive with your doctor often.
As the disease progresses or new medications are used the symptoms could interfere with driving safety. Motor symptoms, cognitive deficits, and visual impairments due to Parkinson’s could affect driving. The symptoms could decrease your ability to react quickly on the road, use the pedals or turn the steering wheel.
If your symptoms are well maintained by medication, taking medications on time is essential when driving. Use caution when starting a new medication and discuss warning signs for impaired driving with your pharmacist. Some of signs of medication-related impaired driving include: drowsiness, dizziness, light headedness, fainting, fatigue, unclear thoughts, nausea, and unsteadiness.
You can keep an active life even when limiting driving. Consider rides from friends & family, community transportation and public transportation.
Adapted from the OT Driving Program, Driving and Parkinson’s, Duke University Health System