Dizziness and Driving

For people who suffer from dizziness caused by inner ear or vestibular disorders, driving can be difficult.

According to the Vestibular Disorder Association, inner ear disorders can cause dizziness, hearing changes, fatigue, nausea, anxiety and vertigo – the sensation that you’re moving, spinning or falling even though you’re not. Specific inner ear disorders include Meniere’s Disease, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, Secondary Endolymphatic Hydrops, Labrynthitis and Vestibular Neuritis.

As researchers noted in the Journal of Safety Research, some patients with a vestibular disorder have been advised by their doctors not to drive. The article, “Driving disability and dizziness” states:
“People with vestibular disorders rely heavily on visual information for spatial orientation, to reduce vertigo, to tell them when they are steering straight ahead, and to tell them when they are upright. They become disoriented more easily than normal people by extraneous visual stimuli, or visual noise. These problems are reflected in their significant difficulty driving in reduced visual conditions at night or in the rain. Their difficulty making left turns, driving on freeways and other high traffic roads, changing lanes while driving, and driving during rush hour may be partly attributed to increased sensitivity to motion of other objects that they see.”

Many of the patients interviewed for the study lived in the Houston and Birmingham areas. Though many indicated they would take public transportation, it was not convenient or accessible.

Fortunately, the patients who participated in the study reported fewer instances of being stopped by the police. The crash rates for people suffering from a vestibular disorder were no different than from those of the general population.

The researchers opined: “This finding probably reflects the caution with which most patients drive.”

At The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C., we hope you can avoid an auto accident. However, if you are involved in a car accident, help is available. Please schedule a free consultation with car accident attorney Chris Hoffmann by calling us at (314) 361-4242 or filling out our personal injury intake form.

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