During Mental Health Awareness Month, Maryland Auto shares the following tips to help Maryland drivers who may experience mental health conditions:

  • Review the side effects of any medication. An article on the National Library of Medicine website explains that certain medications may impair your ability to drive. Depending on the drug, you may feel sedation, sleepiness, or reduced hand-eye coordination or motor skills. Some medications may cause you to react more intensely, which can create dangerous situations on the road.
  • Calm down before you hit the road. Regulating emotions before getting behind the wheel can help decrease risky behaviors. DoSomething.org has suggestions on how to relieve stress before you drive away.
  • Talk to a medical professional. Arrive Alive suggests that those diagnosed with a mental health condition consult a healthcare professional to determine if you can drive. You can even get a driving assessment from an occupational therapist to ensure your ability to drive safely.
  • Self-report a medical condition. If your mental health condition may affect your ability to drive, you are required by Maryland law to notify the Maryland Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Administration.

When You Should Consider Getting A Ride Instead of Driving:

DoSomething.org suggests that drivers experiencing the following symptoms may not want to get behind the wheel:

  • You are feeling distressed. If you constantly think about things that upset you, you may have difficulty focusing on the road.
  • You are physically agitated. If you can’t stop crying, shaking, or experiencing other physical symptoms, you should step away from the driver’s seat.
  • You are feeling intense emotions. If you are feeling any emotion strongly, it can impact your driving behavior.

If you cannot drive, you can try grounding exercises while you wait for someone else to pick you up to get you to your destination. If you need immediate help, you can contact a trained counselor by texting the Crisis Text Line.

Additional Mental Health Resources:

Resources for Mental Health and Driving:

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