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Can I still drive if I have seizures caused by sleep deprivation?

What is Sleep Deprivation?

Sleep deprivation is not considered to be one of the many sleep disorders. Sleep deprivation is a condition in which a person is sleep deprived due to several different causes. When a person can’t get enough hours of sleep at night, his or her functionality during the day will be greatly affected. It is during sleep when a person recharges for energy, and when sleep deprivation happens, it is most likely that a person will feel tired, drowsy, groggy, fatigue, and will not be able to concentrate well on things. Sleep deprivation and other sleep disorders should not be taken for granted, for it can cause life-threatening situations during the day.

Should You Drive When You Are Experiencing  Seizures Due To sleep Deprivation?

Knowing if you can still drive when you are experiencing seizures caused by sleep deprivation is very important however the answer is not black and white.

It is possible to experience such a seizure only one time in your life, for example for following an all night out partying after a sleep deprived week, in which case there should not be a problem to drive. However, you can only know this when you look in your past. On the day when you need to make a decision and you have just had a seizure you really don’t know if you will never have anymore seizures or this was the first of many.

A seizure can happen anytime including when you are driving.

When researching various seizure related forums I found one short story I want to share with you. This is a story of teenager, who, as many others, partied a lot, but in his case, his sleep deprivation caused him to have a seizure, but first seizure experience happened when he drove to work – so actually inside the car. He did have an accident and just by pure luck he did not kill anyone, he crashed into 2 houses. He advised everyone:

  • Never get over tired
  • If you feel sleepy then sleep

So looking back on your life you could say something like “I only had that one seizure, I could have easily driven a car”, but today, not knowing the exact damage you have made to your body / brain and not knowing if you will have multiple seizures in the future or none at all, you have to make a decision today.

It Can Be A Life Threatening Situation

Therefore, looking at the facts, you should not drive if you have seizures caused by sleep deprivation, because even if the chance is very small, let’s say 1% only, that is 1% chance that you could kill someone every hour you are behind the steering wheel. And as people drive a lot, that is a lot of hours = a lot of 1% chances waiting to happen.

I think your next step is to consult your doctor so they can check how much harm you have done to yourself by depriving your body of sleep and they can also suggest you the correct waiting time, which probably would be 6 months without any seizures before you can drive.