Thyroid UK
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How does driving a car makes you feel?

Some time ago read a discussion about banning hypo people from driving. Can't remember was there studies made about hypo people causing a lot of accidents. But wouldn't be a suprise.

I am scared of driving ,because it is so hard to concentrate.

It takes a lot of energy to think while driving. It scares me more to think there a lot of people like me , driving too!

This is something doctors should consider when leaving patients untreated.

I am not saying hypo should not be allowed to drive. I am saying they should be treated properly!!!

I just never remember to mention about this to doctors :D I do have a list of things that are hard for me to do and how this condition is affecting my every day life.

13 Replies

Justiina, There has been research to show that TSH>20 can impair driving reactions more than being over the drink drive limit.

I think anyone feeling so unwell their driving reactions and concentration are likely to be impaired shouldn't get behind the wheel whatever the illness or condition.


I agree, but I think doctors / health care should also understand this as they seem to come up so many ridiculous reasons not to treat people.

For example if i did not drive would not go for many places. I am forced to use a car and it makes me feel quite uncomfortable because I feel like drunk and exhausted if I have to drive far. But I have no choice.



One specific issue that possibly applies even more to you, Justiina, than many here, given your location. That is coping with oncoming headlamps.

At my worst I found it much harder to cope than it had ever been. Not impossibly bad, but it made driving in the dark deeply unpleasant.

That is something that has improved very significantly - I think I now manage as well as at any time in my life. Every year, in these dark months, I can't help remembering and commenting on the ease with which I now cope and what a change there has been.

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Is this likely to be a recognised symptom of being hypo? Very interested in your post as for a long time I've struggled with night time driving due to oncoming headlights.

Very encouraged to hear that it no longer affects you.



There are lots of patient reports - but I can't remember any formal papers or similar.


In a way I find darkness a bit easier because during day time it is ridiculously bright cuz of snow. We have snow from October until April. But my eyes are not that sensitive to brightness anymore so tolerating it a bit better.

We also have reindeer. They might not just sleep in you garage but they are not scared of cars at all. Moose is a different but very scary story.

I don't feel anxious but it takes so much energy to concentrate that it feels uncomfortable and I know I am reacting a bit slow. When I am tired it is that crippling fatigue that I cannot even sit up straight :(

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When I owned a Saab, I remember various stories about them being moose-tested. Sounded horrific.

Also, when in a desert country, people were very anxious about camels. Seems that if you hit one, the beast tends to fall straight down onto the vehicle. They are heavy and tall so the effect is very serious - especially as the vehicle, and maybe the occupant(s), are often already seriously damaged by the original impact.

I'd have thought the advantage of snow was that you could wear dark glasses - or does that not work well in practice?


Wearing dark glasses works in some cases. But like I said since starting vitamin A, the sensitivity to brightness has lessened a lot. When it is snow and the road is snowy too it is hard to separate where to road goes so dark glasses might not even help with that unless you have certain type of glasses.

Yeah I guess it is the same with camels than moose. Especially the hunting time one has to be really careful while driving. Moose does not stop or give you a fair warning before crossing the road. It just runs. With reindeer you at least see their eyes or these days they have started to use certain type of spray to spray their antlers so you can see them when light hits the antlers.

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I can really relate to the problem with oncoming headlights.

Also, I don't feel nervous driving but at times when feeling particularly hypo, I do struggle with wanting to fall asleep at traffic lights. Not good.


The new expensive headlights are very dazzling and apparently a target for thieves!

Have always struggled with headlights. Wife's car went six years before failing MOT because on the production line a left hand drive headlamp was put into the right hand drive car. Always thought they did not give much light .They were cancelling each other out.


I haven't driven in the 2.5 years since my TT. So many reasons, lack of concentration, the strength to sit up and make all the small movements to steer, check blind spots, change gear.

But probably the biggest thing is perception of distance and movement of oncoming cars. I am only now really well enough to reliably cross the road by myself.

At my worst, a lane of passing traffic looked to me like one unbroken column of movement. I couldn't break it down into separate cars or perceive any breaks between them. Standing at the edge of the road was like standing beside a fast flowing river! I think my brain was just taking that much longer to process the movement than the time it took cars to pass.


sounds awful :( You would think that sitting in a car would not exhaust one, but that is how I feel some days too. Cannot sit up straight, need to lean on something so driving is impossible task as you cannot relax and just lean back. I hope you will feel better eventually!


I think being in the car requires a lot of alertness, and even though you're sitting you have no choice but to move your head and arms when the driving demands it. It's not even like cooking or chores at home, where if you want to you can do everything slowly and take twice as long to complete the task, no one is going to crash into a wall or get run over


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