Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Heart Rhythm Problems and Driving
If you have an arrhythmia or an ICD that makes it dangerous for you to drive, your doctor might suggest that you stop driving, at least for a short time.
If you have an
arrhythmia that doesn't cause significant symptoms,
you don't have to stop or limit driving.
This topic is about driving private vehicles. For commercial driving, the government has specific regulations about driving when you have certain medical conditions.
Restrictions on the right to drive depend on several factors. Your doctor makes a recommendation based on:footnote 1
You can drive with an arrhythmia as long as it doesn't cause symptoms that makes it dangerous for you to drive.
Your doctor might suggest that you not drive, at least for a short time, if you have symptoms, like confusion, dizziness, lightheadedness, or loss of consciousness. If these symptoms happen when you are driving, you could cause an accident.
Arrhythmias that might restrict the ability to drive include:
If you get an ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator), you will not drive for a short time after you get the device implanted. Depending on the reason you got the ICD, you may not be able to drive for a few months. Your doctor will let you know when you can drive again. Your doctor might follow these guidelines:footnote 2
You can drive if you have a pacemaker and you don't have any symptoms such as fainting. But right after you get a pacemaker, your doctor will likely ask you to not drive for at least a week after the device is implanted. This gives you time to heal.
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.
Epstein AE, et al. (1996). Personal and public safety issues related to arrhythmias that may affect consciousness: Implications for regulation and physician recommendations. A medical/scientific statement from the American Heart Association and the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology. Circulation, 94(5): 1147–1166.
Epstein AE, et al. (2007). Addendum to Personal and public safety issues related to arrhythmias that may affect consciousness: Implications for regulation and physician recommendations: A medical/scientific statement from the American Heart Association and the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology. Public safety issues in patients with implantable defibrillators. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association and the Heart Rhythm Society. Circulation, 115(9): 1170–1176.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerRakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Current as ofJanuary 27, 2016
Current as of:
January 27, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.