Noncompliance of patients with driving restrictions due to uncontrolled epilepsy

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Willems LM, Reif PS, Knake S, Hamer H, Willems C, Kraemer G, Rosenow F, Strzelczyk A
Journal: Epilepsy & Behavior
Publication year: 2019
Volume: 91
Pages range: 86-89
ISSN: 1525-5050
eISSN: 1525-5069


Epilepsies are a common and chronic neurological disorder characterized by sustained risk of recurrent seizures. Because of paroxysmal and often unpredictable occurrence of seizures, patients with uncontrolled epilepsy are subject to disease-specific restrictions in daily life, such as their career choice or specific work limitations. According to German law and many other European and international guidelines, driving is strictly prohibited in patients with uncontrolled epilepsy so as to increase active and passive safety in public road traffic. Nevertheless. a significant percentage of patients probably do not comply with these legal restrictions and drive on a regular basis. For this study, we analyzed a representative German cohort with 302 patients (mean age: 45.0 years +/- 16.4; 48% male) with established epilepsy to identify the number of patients driving without permission. Overall, 58.6% (n = 177) of patients had a driving license, 71.1% (n 69/97) of patients were in seizure remission, and 52.7% (n = 108/205) of patients had uncontrolled epilepsy. Among patients in seizure remission, 54.6% (n = 53/97) reported regular driving while, among patients with uncontrolled epilepsy, 15.1% (n = 31/205) reported driving on a regular basis. No patient in the cohort stated driving without a valid license. Permanent employment, freelance work, the absence of a relevant disability, and living alone were identified as significant risk factors, which underlines the already existing evidence for the importance of a possible restricted access to the labor market as motive for disregarding legal driving restrictions.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Hamer, Hajo Prof. Dr. med.
Professur für Epileptologie

External institutions with authors

Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Neurozentrum Bellevue
Philipps-Universität Marburg

How to cite

Willems, L.M., Reif, P.S., Knake, S., Hamer, H., Willems, C., Kraemer, G.,... Strzelczyk, A. (2019). Noncompliance of patients with driving restrictions due to uncontrolled epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behavior, 91, 86-89.

Willems, Laurent M., et al. "Noncompliance of patients with driving restrictions due to uncontrolled epilepsy." Epilepsy & Behavior 91 (2019): 86-89.


Last updated on 2019-06-04 at 00:08