Still driving? When to stop?: For those of... - My MSAA Community

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Still driving? When to stop?


For those of you who have stopped driving, how did you determine it was time to hang up your keys? It is a huge decision. I appreciate your input.

35 Replies

I was fighting with optic neuritis for weeks, but still working full time...on my way home from work I suddenly couldn't tell which traffic light was on.😲 I just followed what others were doing. Somehow I got home safely, handed keys to my husband & said "no more for me!" That was 14 years ago. I still find it difficult to always depend on others, but it is what it is... When my licence was up for renewal, I traded it in for a state id card. 😁

Unfortunately, it is what is....


I still have my license but I haven't drove since 2008 when I had a really bad relapse that resulted in really bad dizziness all the time. Now it comes on/off but I never know when it is going to happen. I renew when it needs to be renewed because one day there may be a treatment that helps me with this dizziness and I don't want to retake my driver's test.

Hard question—-

I have been asking myself the same thing daily, since my health has been failing since November 2019....

I have always enjoyed driving—-

I have had my CDL Class A for 20 years and it is all up for renewal in March. I know I will be giving up my CDL and don’t like the idea of giving up my regular license.....

I live alone in small town Montana....

My truck is a 5 speed, it is difficult to walk and the thought of a break down or flat tire... is scary. I haven’t drove more than a mile or two , in almost a year now. Grocery store, doctor and laundry mat.

Not really an answer for you...

Something we all have to decide/deal with.

Best wishes. 😄

I had to give up my beloved car (manual) to my daughter because my left leg is my weakest and I had trouble holding down the clutch. (She loves my quirky little car.) My husband picked out my current car which I don't care for. It's okay but it looks like every other car in the parking lots. (Honda CRV) It's not unusual like my last one and it's bigger than I wanted.

Agreed mrsmike9buffering—

I think 🤔 an automatic would be easier!

I am still driving but I live in a rural community and I don't drive out of town. I will try my best to be honest with myself and stop driving when the time comes.

Well,Kelly,I decided to quit driving , when I don't know when my next seizure would be??!🤔


Good idea---there is NO way I would drive in a city...

That probably, doesn't sound that I type it...

Good post Kelly, I stopped driving about 3 years ago and gave up my license 1 Year ago. My daughter unfortunately wrote my car off , thank God she and Charlie were ok, but it left me with a big decision. Buy or not to buy. The insurance company paid me out , my car was adapted so I could drive it with my hands as my legs are weak but could I trust my right hand to be strong enough to use the brake, so really my decision was made for me. I miss my car, having to rely on others, it’s a big test. All the best in reaching a decision. 🤗 🦋

I have limited my driving. I have not driven highways for years and mainly drive within a small local radius —known routes.

The DMV or OT may have resources that assess your driving and provide suggestions for safe driving or stop driving...I know that does not address the emotional decisions about giving up license.

i suggest talk to your dr also,mine checks my reflexes for driving when I go,like pressing down on my toes and asking me to lift my toes to see how my feet are for driving,and you have some doubts or you wouldn't be thinking about it,it would be hard to do,this disease can be mean!

This "disease" really can be "unforgiving!"


Wow, I was still looking for an answer to what was wrong. I didn't know it would end up being permanent. I was so dizzy all the time, and I was living with my brother and sister-in-law because I'm a very brittle diabetic on top of my MS now. I started asking her to take me to all my dr. appointments and diagnostic test . Though it was only temporary; turns out 5 years later I'm still being driven around. 🙃🙂


It's a tough decision when it affects our ability to be more independent. It wasn't too hard for me to give it up for a few months when I had a relapse and my cognition was affected. I think that if you have symptoms which affect your reaction time or cognition, symptoms which come and go without warning or in any way put you at risk for an accident, it may be time to hang up the keys. I'll edit this to add medications which could affect your reactions or judgement. I tend to not worry so much about my own demise, but I couldn't live with myself if I caused injury or death to someone else because I didn't want to give up. The roads are already dangerous enough. I pray God will show you what's best for you and everyone around you.

colelois in reply to greaterexp

I,too, have cognitive deficits due to MS and I cannot judge distance correctly. I tend to think I have more space on the right side of the vehicle than I have. The result has been many collisions on my right fender. After I had to replace it 3 times, I finally got the message. I sole my car which pays for many LYFT rides and I don't endanger the public.

I haven't driven a car for a few years now.

My right leg is my problem leg, so if the gas pedal is sensitive, I'll be off like a rocket.

Our newer car (37 years old) is like that while the old car (55 YO-🤣) is manual steering and brakes which is easier for me to drive because I can feel the reaction of the brakes and gas pedal.

My truck (20 YO) has new-fangled power steering/brakes and the last time I drove it, I was pulled over for speeding.

That one, I wouldn't mind outfitting with hand controls but as things are, my hub takes me anywhere I want to go, so I'm pretty fortunate.

I am often tempted to sit in the back seat and bark out orders ala Miss Daisy, as my husband drives but I'm afraid I'll forget to bring my cane for the walk home🤣 🤣

Bark on!


Saw your post: Driving, When to Stop? But I had to dash out, and do actually quite a bit of driving for what should have been a simple little errand. But since I never even look at my texts, more less text when driving...

So, when to stop? At red lights, stop signs, for emergency vehicles, a squirrel in the road if traffic permits.... Okay, don't delete me yet.

I was able to drive through my many episodes of optic neuritis. They were all "typical" according to the ophthalmologists who read my plots of missing vision. I drove with a weak arm here, and weak leg there. I gave up my manual shift vehicles many years ago, not because of health, but my 4 wheel road & off road SUV out west came with an automatic, and never went back. That's good, because pre-GPS days, I had a map book just off to the side, in one hand, an appointment/phone list/note pad, a pen in the other, and a phone on the shoulder. How did we survive those days? In heavy city traffic, or though this doesn't count, as it's too easy, on the highway?

The one I could not, could not do, was the vision relapse symptom, where the whole world looked like an old tube tv, which had a small knob on the side or back, to adjust the vertical hold. And as they got older, they were forever rolling upwards. The tv screen would roll upwards. As soon as the bottom of the picture frame hit the top of the screen, it would start again from the bottom. If the knob didn't work, sometimes you cold hit the top of the tv, to jiggle a tube? And it would stop. For a little bit. Well, my vision, did that essentially nonstop for about a month. That I could not imagine driving with. But, I continued working, running estimates, visiting job sites, doing paperwork...

Thinking back, It has been almost a decade since I last calculated my accumulated driving mileage. When I hit a million miles, I lost interest. I still drive a lot. Not like I used to. Can't imagine giving it up. BUT, I would definitely go for one of those self driving cars, where you get in, tell it where to go, and leave the driving to the car. Just saw one of the self driving floor cleaners at the big box hardware store. Had a halloween doll attached on top, as if the doll was driving it! It hadn't hit anyone, or anything, the whole time I was there. It politely stopped for me too!

Just think, you could read, watch a movie, take a nap,....? Wouldn't that be nice!


I only " wish" I could still "read ." (and retain the information.)

When I watch a movie- guarrentied- it's not gonna be my 1st time!!!

Forget about naps- because I won't be able to 🌙,if I do. I just let "it happen naturally...."


Well, look at the movie thing this way, You Get To Enjoy The Same Ones Over and Over!

As I do too! Don't have to worry about, Oh I saw this one, because by the time you remember, it's already got you into the movie again.

Great. 👍

Thanks MarkUpnorth


I still have my license, but I rarely drive because I have no where to go, Amore55 Unless you live close to what you need, giving up your license is such a tough thing to do. Keep Smiling, my friend :-D

I stopped when I couldn’t been my leg anymore

Prior to that my dr office has this test to test your driving abilities and reflexes I passed it but then MS took over and there went the car keys

I still have my license I just renewed it. I can do adaptive driving I took the course but my license would have to be changed meaning it has to be noted on the license and the equipment is expensive

I suffer from extreme vertigo and it really bothers me a lot to look back and forth to see if the road is clear. I plan out all my stops have a traffic light to exit or locations that I only have to look one way. There are times that I question if the light was green or did I just get lucky that the intersection was clear.

I'm going to keep driving until my Dr takes it away from me.

I'm on Ocrevus and watch the commercials saying MS doesn't own me but if I lose my license MS will own me and I don't know how I'll handle that.

Redhead4377 in reply to JTZES


Understand and Agree...

Never wanna put anyone else in danger...

Hard stuff

My poor truck likes to get out once and awhile and get above thirty miles an hour....

So today 'we' did....

Post Office and grocery store (tp run)....

And then two good songs on the radio....

Had to go...till smelt the roadkill on the hiway...skunk!

I was done!


Spastic seizure happened (duee to medication) needed time to make wure it wouldnt happen again and during the "time out' feom driving several other issues started arising along with vertago and confusion. Considering i could not anticipate these events and vehicle costs, i hung up my keys. Actually, handed them to the buyer is a better wat to say it. LOL if things improve i would like to drive again cause its SUCKS! However, hirting someone else would suck WAY WAY WAY more! Espically if i injured a family or child. So... those notions helped me with the decision. Its not the first time i had to put driving on hold so im hopefull to drive again one day.

Very agree Allen---

I have a CDL for 20 years...

But like today trying to work the clutch and throttle...

I know better--- but my feet and legs don't cooperate any more!

Going to burn a clutch!

Didn't go far and very careful---staying away from all traffic--but a noticeable difference.

Do you feel safe with your strength and reaction time to avoid the other idiots on the road? Do you often go point A to B and not remember the trip?

Get your options for alternate transportation in place. Once you know you have them, it is easier.

When I drove myself to the dentist a couple of weeks ago I had to lift my leg with my hands to put it on the brake. I only had a few blocks to go in residential areas thank goodness. Liked to scared myself to death. That's when I knew it was time to stop driving. I hadn't driven in 4 months and thought it would be ok but it wasn't. When you are stuck in for 4 months, the only time I got out was with my husband or sister to get groceries, you don't realize what you can no longer do. I am hoping that once I get started back with PT I will be able to drive again but if not I will be looking into hand controls for my car. I hate losing my independence. I will start back with my PT next week.

I hadn't driven for about a year--no health reasons, just couldn't afford to renew my auto insurance. I couldn't register my car until I had insurance and gotten an emissions test. Then in 2018, I went to the hospital with 3 brain bleeds. Among all the specialists who weren't currently occupied with other patients, a Neuro Opthamologist saw me (and said, when I appologized for not remembering meeting him, that he wasn't surprised because he said I was seriously messed up when he first saw me .) After 6 months of appointments with Neuro Opthamologists and numerous tests repeated each appointment, one opthamologist very gently told me I would never drive again by New Mexico standards. Within a week, I was approved for disability. I discovered, after reading the Neuro Opthamologist's notes in the patient portal, that I had been diagnosed "Leagally Blind".

I was still recovering, so it really didn't affect me right away. My vision was still so whacked out, I was SCARED to drive!

It all really hit me, though, when I had to go to the MVD to renew my driver's license. I had to get a State I.D. instead of a license.

I became really depressed about it. Driving had played a huge role in my photography career. Not only did I anlose my career--my dream--I lost my freedom! I couldn't just get in my car and drive somewhere just to get away.

I had to depend on others to get me to my doctors' appointments, lab tests, MRIs--either my health insurance company's transport, my city's public transit for the disabled, or if I have the money to order a Lyft.

I'm still just trying to come to terms.

I guess, for me, it was after I hit somebody (yes, a person) in the parking lot at work! Sad, but true. I cried. He just looked stunned. Well, and injured. No worries...he is ok. Thank God. And, giving up driving was easy for me. That’s been over eight years ago. No regrets.

I was sent to a neuro opthamologist when I was in a rehabilitation hospital after my brain bleeds. He made me do several vision tests. At the end, he very gently told me, "By New Mexico standards, you will never drive again."

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