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Epilepsy Behav. 2012 Feb;23(2):103-12. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2011.11.015. Epub 2012 Jan 9.

Evidence-based review on epilepsy and driving.

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Institute for Mobility, Activity and Participation, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.



The aim of this study was to synopsize the evidence on predictors of crashes and driving status in people with epilepsy (PWE).


Evidence-based review of the published English literature was the method used. We searched various databases and extracted data from 16 (of 77) primary studies. On the basis of American Academy of Neurology criteria, we assigned each study a class of evidence (I-IV, where I indicates the highest level of evidence) and made recommendations (Level A: predictive or not; Level B: probably predictive or not; Level C: possibly predictive or not; Level U: no recommendations).


For PWE, the following characteristics are considered useful: For identifying crash risk, epilepsy (level B) and short seizure-free intervals (≥3 months) (Level C) are not predictive of motor vehicle crash (MVC). For self/proxy-reported crash risk, epilepsy surgery (Level B), seizure-free intervals (6-12 months) (Level B), few prior non-seizure-related crashes (Level B), and regular antiepileptic drug adjustments (Level B) are protective against crashes; seizures contribute to MVCs (Level C); mandatory reporting does not contribute to reduced crashes (Level C). No recommendations for reliable auras, age, and gender (Level U), as data are inadequate to make determinations. For self-reported driving or licensure status, employment and epilepsy surgery are predictive of driving (Level C); there are no recommendations for antiepileptic drug use, self-reported driving, gender, age, receiving employment benefits, or having reduced seizure frequency (Level U).


Limitations, that is, heterogeneity among studies, examining the English literature from 1994 to 2010, must be considered. Yet, this is the first evidence-based review to synopsize the current PWE and driving literature and to provide recommendation(s) to clinicians and policy makers. Class I studies, matched for age and gender, yielding Level A recommendations are urgently needed to define the risks, benefits, and causal factors underlying driving performance issues in PWE.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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