Is it illegal to drive with a cast?
A fall, a clumsiness, a car accident, and now a driver ends up with a cast on his arm. If during the first days, complete rest must be observed, after a while the desire to drive could be felt. Driving is something we take for granted, but is it safe and legal to drive a vehicle while wearing a cast on arm or leg? Read here to find out more.
No, when taking heavy painkillers or narcotic drugs
You are legally not able to drive when taking any sort of heavy painkillers or narcotic drugs. Indeed, our decision-making and reflexes are impaired. However, many people are concerned with needing a driver during their healing. Fortunately, there are solutions, such as carpooling, taxi and public transport, to move safely with a cast.
Yes but not recommended
Driving is not recommended for anyone wearing a cast because joint mobility is limited. For example, wearing a wrist splint can significantly distort the ability to drive a vehicle. Indeed, emergency reaction times are longer. Moreover, you could get pulled over if your driving is affected by your injury. To drive, you must be able to operate all vehicle controls and have a hand on the wheel at the same time. For example, if you wear a cast on your arm and drive a manual vehicle, it will be almost impossible to change gears while keeping one hand on the wheel.
There are some important things to consider when you are thinking of driving with a cast:
- Casts on the foot or leg often slow your ability to brake enough: the reaction time being up to 25% slower in testing
Driving with your left foot might seem a better alternative, but can be extremely dangerous and distracting
Ask your doctor for his/her permission
Doctors don’t encourage driving while wearing a cast because they say that you might prevent your bones from healing correctly, or even end up in a car accident due to impaired reaction time. If your doctor gives you advice not to drive while wearing a cast, then you cannot legally get behind the wheel. Therefore, before driving after a fracture, make sure your doctor has allowed you to drive safely.
No laws prohibiting driving with a cast
Despite the obvious safety hazards, there are currently no laws prohibiting driving with a cast on either of your feet. However, if you are involved in a car accident, some insurance companies may not compensate if your broken bone was a leading cause of the crash. We recommend that you read your specific insurance policy to ensure that there is no exclusion for medical conditions.