[DRIVING AND NARCOLEPSY]
The majority of those diagnosed with narcolepsy and who are receiving
proper medical treatment to minimize their symptoms, are able to
maintain their driving privileges without incident. It is important
to be a responsible driver and to keep your doctor informed about
your ability to drive safely.
"Questions continually arise as to whether or not the person who has
narcolepsy should drive. This question should be answered carefully,
since uninformed, inappropriate official action might have dire and
In actuality, the answer is quite simple, though ironic. Before they
know that they have narcolepsy, many undiagnosed persons begin to
realize that they need medical help because they are having problems
with their driving. However, once they are diagnosed and their
symptoms are properly managed, they have been shown to be capable
drivers, possibly better than average.
Driving for long periods without a break is not advisable for anyone.
The number of people using rest and services stops on most of the
nation's major highways are witness to the fact that all drivers
benefit by stopping occasionally for a stretch, a cup of coffee, or
even a nap. This includes the person whose narcolepsy symptoms are
being properly managed and who is driving safely.
Not being able to drive in this day and age is a severe handicap.
Many who have narcolepsy already suffer limited incomes. Not to be
allowed to drive would create a further tremendous burden for those
who have no other means of getting to their place of employment, and
in many cases, would mean the end of useful employment and the need
for public assistance. Understandably, no one wants irresponsible
drivers on the road, but legislators should study this situation
carefully and not allow themselves to be wrongly influenced by
well-meaning but uninformed activist groups who would deprive good
drivers of their licenses. Making a diagnosis and treatment available
and affordable for all would provide a far more appropriate solution
to this problem."
SOURCE: Narcolepsy: A Guide To Understanding, 1995 - a comprehensive
booklet written by people with narcolepsy for people with narcolepsy.
Available from the Narcolepsy Network National Office, 10921 Reed
Hartman Highway, Suite 119, Cincinnati, OH 45242, Tel: 513-891-3522,
Price: $5.00 (or available free
with a new membership).
For more information, visit the section called MORE FAQ at