Medical Conditions and Driving: A Review of the Literature (1960  2000)
TRD Page
Section1: Introduction
Section 2: Vision
Section 3: Hearing
Section 4: Cardiovascular
Section 5: Cerebrovascular
Section 6: Peripheral Vascular
Section 7: Nervous System
Section 8: Respiratory
Section 9: Metabolic
Section 10: Renal
Section 11: Musculoskeletal
Section 12: Psychiatric
Section 13: Drugs
Section 14: Aging Driver
Section 15: Anesthesia and Surgery
Appendix A
List of Tables
List of Figures
download PDF

Medical Conditions that serve as ‘Red Flags’ that Driving Ability may be Compromised

A. Visual Conditions/Diseases

  1. Low vision (vision ranging from 20/200 to 20/50)
  2. Cataracts
  3. Diabetic retinopathy
  4. Glaucoma
  5. Retinitis pigmentosa
  6. Monocular vision (especially right eye blindness)
  7. Macular degeneration
  8. Nystagmus
  9. Visual field defects

B. Cardiovascular Disease

  1. Cardiac arrhythmias if associated with cerebral ischemia (e.g., paroxysmal arrhythmias such as non-sustained paroxysmal ventricular tachycardia, paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, paroxysmal atrial fibrillation/flutter; sinus node dysfunction)
  2. Artificial cardiac pacemakers if associated with cerebral ischemia
  3. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy if associated with cerebral ischemia
  4. Congestive heart failure if associated with cerebral ischemia
  5. Valvular heart disease if associated with cerebral ischemia

C. Cerebrovascular Disease

  1. Cerebrovascular accident (Stroke)
  2. Transient ischemic attacks

D. Diseases of the Nervous System

  1. Narcolepsy
  2. Sleep apnea

E. Respiratory Diseases

  1. Chronic obstructive lung disease if associated with respiratory failure resulting in cognitive impairment due to generalized hypoxia
  2. Respiratory failure

F. Metabolic Diseases

  1. Hypothyroidism if condition results in cognitive deficits
  2. Diabetes - the chronic effects of diabetes (e.g., diabetic retinopathy, cardiovascular disease, etc.) are listed separately

G. Renal Disease

  1. Chronic renal failure if associated with cognitive impairment

H. Dementia

  1. Progressive dementia (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, Multi-infarct dementia)

I. Psychiatric Diseases

  1. Schizophrenia
  2. Personality disorder
  3. Chronic alcohol abuse

J. Medications

Chronic use of the following medications:

  1. Antidepressants (particularly the older tricyclics such as amitriptyline, imipramaine)
  2. Antihistamines (particularly the older antihistamines
  3. Any drug that has prominent central nervous system effects (e.g., analgesics, some antihypertensives, sedatives, hypnotics, anxyiolytics, benzodiazepines, stimulants)