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Mental Illness

Mental illness is the term that refers collectively to all mental disorders. Many disorders are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood or behaviour (or some a combination thereof). They can be associated with distress and/or impaired functioning.

A person living with mental illness, can enhance their independence, improve social interaction, and add to a better quality of life through driving.

Many people with a diagnosis of a mental illness can drive safely. There are however, some mental illnesses that require extra precautions. Some people have an unrealistic understanding of the effect of their illness and may not realise the extent of their difficulties. Example such as; reaction time, concentration, multitasking, memory, and good insight, etc. are required when driving. Certain medication may also effect a person’s ability to drive safely.

Whether continuing, returning, or beginning to drive, you should contact your GP and comply with the Medical Fitness to Drive Guidelines.
View/Download RSA ‘Sláinte agus Tiomáint’ >>(PDF format).

Having satisfied the medical guidelines, a person may require an on-road driving assessment. See Driving Assessments.

For anyone learning to drive with a mental illness, a vehicle with automatic transmission may provide a more convenient option.
For anyone returning to drive following a mental illness, a driver refresher course or rehabilitation course, may provide a person with more confidence and competence in their driving skills. For more information, see Driving Courses.


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