Skip to content

Atrial Fibrillation Health Center

Font Size

Heart Rhythm Problems and Driving - Topic Overview

Are there driving restrictions for people with heart rhythm problems?

If you have an arrhythmia or an ICD that makes it dangerous for you to drive, your doctor might suggest that you stop driving, at least for a short time.

If you have an arrhythmia that doesn't cause significant symptoms, you don't have to stop or limit driving.

Recommended Related to Atrial Fibrillation

What Happens During Catheter Ablation for AFib?

Catheter ablation is a nonsurgical way to treat atrial fibrillation (AFib), a type of irregular heartbeat. It destroys the tissue that may be causing the heartbeat to get off course. This creates scar tissue inside your heart’s chambers. This scar tissue is a good thing. It will help your heartbeat stay in rhythm. Your doctor will not have to cut into your chest cavity to do this procedure. The catheter is a long, flexible tube that is inserted into a blood vessel and guided into your heart...

Read the What Happens During Catheter Ablation for AFib? article > >

This topic is about driving private vehicles. For commercial driving, the government has specific regulations about driving when you have certain medical conditions.

Restrictions on the right to drive depend on several factors. Your doctor makes a recommendation based on:1

  • Any symptoms you may have had, like fainting.
  • The cause of your arrhythmia.
  • The likelihood that your arrhythmia will happen again.
  • If your arrhythmia has been treated successfully.
  • If your ICD has given you a shock for an arrhythmia.

Is it okay to drive if you have an arrhythmia?

You can drive with an arrhythmia as long as it doesn't cause symptoms that makes it dangerous for you to drive.

Your doctor might suggest that you not drive, at least for a short time, if you have symptoms, like confusion, dizziness, lightheadedness, or loss of consciousness. If these symptoms happen when you are driving, you could cause an accident.

  • If your arrhythmia has made you pass out (lose consciousness), your doctor might recommend not driving until:
    • The arrhythmia has been treated successfully.
    • The arrhythmia has not happened again for a few months.
    • The cause of the arrhythmia has been identified and corrected.

Arrhythmias that might restrict the ability to drive include:

    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    pacemaker next to xray
    Ablation, cardioversion, pacemaker, and more.
    human brain
    What you need to know.
    woman doing yoga
    Tips for easing stress.
    fish and vegetables
    How to eat to protect your heart.
    Omega 3 Overview Slideshow
    At Risk for Heart Disease
    Recognizing Womens Heart Symptoms
    Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol

    Resolved To Quit Smoking
    Lowering Blood Pressure Slideshow
    Heart Disease And Ed
    Atrial fibrillation

    WebMD Special Sections