Driving is a privilege, not a right. Most of the general public is aware of the hazards of drinking and driving, distracted driving, and reckless driving. Few are aware of other hazardous driving behaviors such as driving with a hazardous medical condition. For example, as evidenced by recent tragedies some motorists do not think twice about driving their car after being treated at their medical clinic for seizures, pain medication management, or undergoing anesthesia. Some drivers may not be aware of the hazards of driving after hospital discharge. Such persons may be experiencing effects of anesthesia or painkillers, or they may be leaving the hospital after being treated for a seizure or fainting spell.

On September 11, a teenage boy was killed while walking on a sidewalk in Aloha. The driver of the car had a seizure, and after striking the teenager, she continued to drive her car 60 to 70 yards before running into a fence. She was unconscious throughout the entire experience and remembers nothing about the collision. The driver was not aware that she had killed an innocent pedestrian until after she recovered from her seizer. Earlier in the day she had called her mother she was leaving the hospital after being examined for having a seizure earlier in the day. At scene of the crash, she still had her hospital wrist band on. Instead of having somebody drive her from the hospital, she chose to drive home.

To prevent such tragedies, it is important to designate a driver if you are impaired or have doubts about being able to drive safely after checking out of a hospital. Even if a fainting spell or seizure seems routine, having such a spell while driving has permanent affects other people’s lives.