Heart rate whilst driving: What should... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Heart rate whilst driving


What should a normal heart rate be whilst driving. Mine has hit 159bpm today. I am having intermittent high spikes in heart rate so I just wondered if this is unusual.

14 Replies

Interesting , last weekend l drove 4 hours down to London on the Fri 17th my HR maxed out at 132 BPM & averaged around 85 bpm on the way home it maxed at 150 bpm for some 24 minutes, with an ave again around 85 bpm. I guess conditions have a bearing too ( on the way home I came across Fog & wet conditions) I've had a Pacemaker for 4 months with the lower rate set at 65bpm overall I was pretty comfortable driving & had a good nights sleep YEE HAA!!

Thanks for sharing. What heart condition is your pacemaker fitted for...if you don't mind me asking?

Hi , I had tachycardia/bradycardia episodes of SVT were lasting For a few hours at 220 bpm & countless visits to a&e . I had a successful ablation in May 2019 , but the beta blockers reduced an already low heart rate to high 30's bpm average at night & 40/50's during the day so I ended up with a pacemaker which has certainly improved my quality of life.

Oh wow. Sounds like you have been through a lot. Glad the pacemaker is helping 😊

Strangely, mine tends to drop (to almost full resting levels) when I'm driving - quite often find myself In the mid 50s on the way to work!

Haven't fallen asleep yet though :P

Interesting. Thanks for the reply

Mine drops to resting levels or lower on the M6, It goes up a lot when I spot someone on the phone though..

luckylouise08 in reply to SPV123

Not surprised ! People need to use hands free. Drive as safe as possible

Hi luckylouise. What device are you using to measure your heart rate. Fitbits etc can be pretty unreliable if you’re moving around.

I am using a whoop band.

That’s a new one on me 😄. They seem to be reported as accurate - so maybe I’m off the mark.

I'm not sure with accuracy on fitness trackers. Whoop has got some great features on it and some athletes use it too. However I am more just trying to work out whether my heart rate bumping up on several occasions is something to be flagging. Due to see a cardiologist when I get the referral appointment through. Believe I have underlying heart problems that have not been diagnosed yet. Trying to paint a picture as clear as possible to get an idea of what may be wrong if there is something untoward going on, but the heart rate spikes I am seeing is just one part of what I wanted to look into. I also have other symptoms and long term health issues / complaints. Helps to hear viewpoints of others and experiences to get better medical knowledge or information to make educated investigations or know what questions to ask at medical appointments

I’d keep a diary of what you’re doing and what your heart rate is to take to your doctor/cardiologist. It might also be sensible to keep a record of your blood pressure. Heart rate going up while driving wouldn’t be unusual in stressful circumstances. There could be quite a few reasons why it’s happening - especially if you have a history of heart related issues.

Thanks for the ideas. 🙏

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