Driving is an integral part of lifestyle in Australia, and many regard driving as essential to independence. Some symptoms of MS including driver fatigue, heat intolerance, and visual disturbance may impact on driving ability, either periodically or consistently. People with MS need to be aware of any symptoms that may impact on their safe driving ability. Some tips to keep safe when driving include:
- Parking in shade to keep the internal vehicle temperature down
- Allowing plenty of time to get to your destination, to avoid rush and stress
- Increasing the travel distance between you and the car in front
- Eliminating distractions such as the radio, and mobile phones
- Avoiding driving in peak traffic if possible
In 2008 Mandatory Reporting was introduced in WA. Anyone with a medical condition that is permanent or long-term and is likely to impair their ability to drive MUST report their condition to the Department of Transport. Failure to do so may result in a fine and may impact on any vehicle insurance claims. Always check with your private insurer what they require from you. In WA, reporting should be within one month of diagnosis of a condition. This does not necessarily mean you will lose your licence, however. People with MS will need to have an annual assessment by their treating doctor, GP or specialist to confirm their fitness to drive. In some cases, a driving assessment may be required.
For more information and for reporting, go to https://www.transport.wa.gov.au/licensing/report-a-medical-condition.asp