If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s there are both legal and commonsense considerations when continuing to drive.
Parkinson’s can affect the ability to self-evaluate and it is advised that driving be discussed with family members and your doctor. They may have a different perception of your skills.
In the early stages of Parkinson’s drivers often modify their driving habits to address the changes outlined. This may be achieved by driving shorter distances and avoiding both peak hour traffic and night driving.
There are also legal considerations. In the A.C.T:
‘Licence holders are legally required to report any permanent or long term illness, injury or incapacity that may impair their ability to drive safely. It is also a requirement that a licence holder not drive while their ability to drive safely is impaired by an illness, injury or the effects of any medical treatment.
Certain medical conditions and diagnosis require annual medical assessments and, at times, a driving assessment may be required.
For further information on medical standards regarding certain medical conditions please refer to the Assessing Fitness to Drive page on the Austroads website.’Access Canberra website www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au April 2019
Parkinson’s is identified there as one of the medical conditions requiring medical assessment for licence qualification.
In summary, you should check with Access Canberra what actions are required. You can expect that you will need a medical assessment and annual reviews in order to maintain your licence.
It may be that your car insurance policy is affected by your diagnosis. It would be wise to check with the insurance company.
You might be interested in checking the information on the Parkinson’s WA website. It contains WA-specific legal requirements but also discusses the issues in general.
Parkinson’s ACT does not have any formal advice on the above information. We are providing it so that you are aware that these considerations exist and should be followed up.