Driving when you have
n For most people, driving represents
freedom, control and competence.
Driving enables most people to get to the
places they want or need to go. For many
people, driving is important economically
– some drive as part of their job or to get
to and from work.
n Driving is a complex skill. Our ability to
drive safely can be affected by changes in
our physical, emotional and mental
n The goal of this brochure is to help you,
your family and your health care
professional talk about how arthritis may
affect your ability to drive safely.
How can arthritis affect my
n Having arthritis can make your joints
swollen and stiff, which can limit how far
you can bend or move your shoulders,
hands, head and neck. This can make it
harder to grasp or turn the steering
wheel, apply the brake and gas pedals,
put on your safety belt or look over your
shoulder to check your blind spot.
n As a result, arthritis can make it harder
for you to drive safely. If arthritis affects
your hips, knees, ankles or feet, you also
may have difficulty getting in and out of
Can I still drive with arthritis?
n Yes, most people can drive safely with
arthritis. It depends on which joints are
affected, and how well you and your
doctor are able to manage your
condition. Your doctor cares about your
health and safety, and will work with you
and your loved ones to manage your care.
n If you use medicine to treat your arthritis,
make sure it doesn’t make you sleepy.
Ask your doctor about other treatments
that can help with your pain, swelling,
and soreness – treatments that will not
make it difficult to drive safely.
n Arthritis can limit your movement and
strength, so try to stay fit and active.
Doing so will help you to keep driving
safely. Ask your doctor about exercises to
keep your joints strong and supple.
What can I do when arthritis
affects my driving?
n Your doctor can refer you to a
rehabilitation center or a specialist who
can determine if, and how, your arthritis