Professional driving is forbidden by regulatory Institutions in the US as well as in most European Countries, whereas private driving can be resumed according to the medical status.
Medical literature reports that, owing to lesser and more careful driving habits, CIED recipients are at a much lower risk of being involved in car accidents than the general driving population.
Driving can be allowed to those patients who have substantial clinical improvements thanks to effective therapy, such as CIEDs. In Italy, local Committees evaluate patients who wish to resume driving, based on medical certification of disease under management and clinical assessment type of implanted device arrhythmia occurrence and symptoms during arrhythmias.
The duration of driving permission is dependent on the abovementioned factors and on the unchallengeable Committee judgement. Of note, the duration of this permission varies considerably across the Country, and may range from 6 to 36 months from one province to another.
The procedure to obtain a driving permission is moderately expensive on average, consisting of medical visits and certifications, government documents, and taxes. They may sum up to 400 euro in a worst of cases scenario.
APDIC has joined the Heart Transplantation and the Kidney Transplantation Associations to establish a cooperation with the local Committee, so that an agreement has been reached about the medical information needed to reliably achieve a driving permission in a consistent period of time. This has proven effective for the associates to overcome barriers to private driving.
It is interesting to know that on November 12, 2002, Dr. Božidar Ferek-Petrić from Zagreb (HR) patented in the U.S. (patent: US 6,480,744 B2) a wireless control system that allows communication between the ICD and an automobile, such as the onset of an arrhythmia, that might cause near-loss of consciousness or inability to drive, would automatically trigger braking and stopping the vehicle while the arrhythmia is terminated. Automatic braking to avoid crushing into a foregoing car is a feature already available in modern cars: this feature might allow an easier driving allowance to all ICD carriers.