Driving With a Heart Condition: What to Know

Overall, most people with heart conditions can drive. However, people with a history of loss of consciousness or draining should talk with their doctors about driving safely. In some cases, people with specific heart conditions might not be allowed to drive or will require regular check-ups of their condition to continue driving.

 

Can you drive with a heart condition?

Most people can drive despite having a heart condition. However, sometimes, driving might not be possible if your condition can cause dizziness, faintness, or blackout suddenly. Similarly, people who operate buses, public transportation, trucks, and passenger vehicles might have different restrictions. Your employer will determine the limitations.

While driving with a heart condition varies on factors such as severity, symptoms, and driving laws in your city, here are some guidelines to driving with a heart condition:

  • You should not drive immediately after having heart attack surgery
  • You should avoid driving weeks after a coronary angioplasty
  • You should not drive if your arrhythmias interfere with your ability to control the car
  • You should stop driving if you experience heart failure
  • You should not drive for about a month after recovering from a stroke or mini-stroke

Should you report your heart condition?

Depending on the symptoms and the severity of your condition, you might have to tell the driving and transit agency in your state about your situation. Check with your local office to see if your condition needs to be reported. Most likely, you won’t be required to disclose any of these conditions:

  • Heart attack
  • Coronary artery by-pass surgery
  • Coronary angioplasty
  • Heart valve
  • Angina

Nonetheless, you’ll likely have to report your heart condition to your car insurer. You will also need to brief them of any treatment or condition changes. Travel and life insurance may also be affected by your heart condition, and you must report changes in your condition with them.

Bottom line

While driving with a heart condition is possible, you must rely on your doctor for instructions and recommendations. Keep them informed of any changes in symptoms and the severity of your symptoms to address changes in your treatment.

Geraldine Orentas is a writer in partnership with leading stethoscope distributor, Stethoscope.com

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