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Dizziness in Europe: from licensed fitness to drive to licence without fitness to drive


Huppert, Doreen; Straumann, Dominik; Magnusson, Mans; Pyykkö, Ilmari; Brandt, Thomas (2018). Dizziness in Europe: from licensed fitness to drive to licence without fitness to drive. Journal of Neurology, 265(Suppl 1):9-17.

Abstract

A common European Community driving licence was established in 1980. However, there are major differences among the countries as regards medical conditions that legally affect driving ability. This article discusses various assessment guidelines for dizzy patients. These range from a total absence of specified binding requirements in Finland or regulations open to clinical interpretation in Switzerland, to inappropriately strict regulations in Germany. We focus on requirements for patients with vestibular disorders in Germany which have been in force since 2014. These guidelines stipulate that for group 1 driving licence (private cars < 3.5 t, motorbikes): (1) patients with Menière's disease (attacks without prodromes) must have had no attacks for 2 years before it is possible to drive again. (2) Patients with vestibular migraine without prodromes must not have had any attacks for 3 years. For a group 1 and group 2 driving licence ("professional driver"): (3) patients with bilateral vestibulopathy as a rule are considered to have a driving disability. Similarly, strict restrictions have been formulated for ocular motor disorders such as downbeat and upbeat nystagmus and for patients with functional (psychosomatic) forms of dizziness such as phobic postural vertigo. The authors represent a working group of the European Dizzynet focusing on the topic "fitness to drive with vertigo and balance disorders". They agree that European guidelines must be revised and harmonized, for some are too strict and the required dizziness-free intervals are too long; others must be revised, for they are too lax. A common European standard is needed.

Abstract

A common European Community driving licence was established in 1980. However, there are major differences among the countries as regards medical conditions that legally affect driving ability. This article discusses various assessment guidelines for dizzy patients. These range from a total absence of specified binding requirements in Finland or regulations open to clinical interpretation in Switzerland, to inappropriately strict regulations in Germany. We focus on requirements for patients with vestibular disorders in Germany which have been in force since 2014. These guidelines stipulate that for group 1 driving licence (private cars < 3.5 t, motorbikes): (1) patients with Menière's disease (attacks without prodromes) must have had no attacks for 2 years before it is possible to drive again. (2) Patients with vestibular migraine without prodromes must not have had any attacks for 3 years. For a group 1 and group 2 driving licence ("professional driver"): (3) patients with bilateral vestibulopathy as a rule are considered to have a driving disability. Similarly, strict restrictions have been formulated for ocular motor disorders such as downbeat and upbeat nystagmus and for patients with functional (psychosomatic) forms of dizziness such as phobic postural vertigo. The authors represent a working group of the European Dizzynet focusing on the topic "fitness to drive with vertigo and balance disorders". They agree that European guidelines must be revised and harmonized, for some are too strict and the required dizziness-free intervals are too long; others must be revised, for they are too lax. A common European standard is needed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:October 2018
Deposited On:24 Oct 2018 14:59
Last Modified:24 Sep 2019 23:49
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0340-5354
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00415-018-8806-y
PubMed ID:29536178

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