Could Covid Catch You A Driving Ban?

Wed 24th Nov 2021

The Covid pandemic may have caused major disruption to the global motor industry in the past two years, but now it has drivers in its sights if newspaper reports are to be believed this week.

According to a story published in the Grimsby Telegraph this week, Cough Syncope, a little known symptom of Covid is a condition which must be declared to the DVLA before driving, with the motoring organisation advising drivers to stop driving for six months after one episode.

The news comes as a 75-year-old Italian Covid patient fainted whilst coughing five days after being discharged from hospital, with Cough Syncope believed to be the cause.

Cough Syncope sees an increase in pressure on the heart caused by extreme coughing cases and this causes blood pressure to drop then fainting. While it might be hard to get diagnosed with the rare condition, if you have experienced an episode of fainting following coughing, it might be worth reporting the to the DVLA for your own safety and that of other roads users.

The DVLA has clear guidance on the matter, with references to it on the organisation’s website.

“Having experienced an episode or episodes of cough syncope, a person has identified themselves as being in a higher risk group that is predisposed to cough syncope,” the guidelines say.

“Therefore, even if the cough syncope episode occurred during a short-lived period of increased cough (such as an episode of acute respiratory infection), this would not alter the fact that the person is then at a higher risk of experiencing an episode of cough syncope whenever they cough, regardless of the cause.

“Treatment, management or resolution of the condition which caused the cough does not reduce the risk of syncope with further episodes of cough.”

The condition could be bad news for bus and lorry drivers, if they have one episode they are banned from driving for 12 months, and then five years if they have a repeat episode.