Medical fitness to drive

What is a medical condition?

A medical condition can be a physical or mental incapacity that can affect a person's ability to drive a vehicle safely.

The National Assessing Fitness to Drive Guidelines on the Austroads website lists the following medical conditions that affect a person's fitness to drive and heighten the risk of their involvement in a serious vehicle crash:

  • blackouts
  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes
  • hearing loss
  • musculoskeletal conditions
  • neurological conditions such as epilepsy, seizures, dementia and cognitive impairment
  • psychiatric conditions
  • sleep disorders
  • substance misuse/dependency (including alcohol, illicit drugs and prescription drug misuse)
  • vision and eye disorders.

Other medical conditions or combinations of conditions may also be relevant. The above list does not define all clinical situations where a person's overall function may compromise their driving ability and public safety.

Alcohol, drugs, medications and driving

Alcohol, drugs and medications can significantly affect your driving skills and increase your risk of having a crash.

As a driver you need to be alert and to concentrate so you can react to what is happening on the road around you.

When your health professional prescribes you medication, you should ask whether it could affect your driving.

Many prescription and some over-the-counter medicines can affect your ability to drive and could make you unfit to drive. They can affect your concentration, mood, coordination and reactions.

Do not drive if:

  • you are taking medicines with a warning label that tells you not to drive
  • or the medication has an effect on your ability to control a vehicle.

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Last updated: 01 February 2017

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