A new UBC study has laid to rest the question of whether or not it’s OK to get behind the wheel of a vehicle if the driver is prone to fainting.
A new study from the UBC Faculty of Medicine, published Aug 1, suggests that people who have visited the emergency room for fainting aren’t prone to more car crashes when compared to other drivers.
The study explores the relationship between first-episode syncope – or fainting – and car crashes. According to the research team, only 9.2 per cent of the 9,200 drivers who participated in the study were involved in a car crash within a year of visiting the emergency room for fainting.
Researchers also found that drivers who fainted didn’t pose an increased risk in the month after their emergency room visit.
In comparison, 10.1 per cent of drivers who visited the emergency room for other problems, were involved in car crashes a year after their visit. That’s compared to the national average of 8.2 per cent of drivers who get into car crashes in any given year.
Despite concerns, imposing driving restrictions on those who’ve fainted isn’t necessary and would contribute to unnecessary stigmatization, the study suggests. However, the research team says that fainting can be a sign of a more serious medical issue and encourages people to visit the doctor if they’ve fainted.