Parkinson's Affects Ability to Drive
New research shows that people who have Parkinson's disease have difficulty driving safely, and that distractions such as talking on the cell phone or even talking with a passenger are more risky for people with Parkinson's than for people who don't have the condition. The research was conducted on people who had mild to moderate Parkinson's.
When the Parkinson's patients in the study were distracted, they drove more slowly and were less able to control their speed and steering. Study subjects who performed more poorly on tests of balance, memory, vision and the ability to switch their attention from one task to another were most likely to have poorer driving performance.
Previous studies have shown that people with Parkinson's disease have more difficulty seeing road signs and landmarks and that they're more likely to make safety errors while driving.
If you or a loved one has Parkinson's disease, it's important to monitor your driving skills regularly.
Neurology, December 2006