Car accident caused by undiagnosed MS - in paper today.


Did anyone see the article in the Daily Mail today? A mother and her 6 year old daughter died tragically in a car accident. In the post mortum it was discovered that the mother had undiagnosed MS which may have caused her to have a medical emergency, slump over the wheel and make the car swerve into another car.

The pathologist said: ‘MS can produce a lack of co-ordination and visual clarity and have an effect on motor strength, which could possibly be a contributory factor in the accident’

This sort of article will make everyone who has MS and everyone who knows someone with MS nervous. (and the insurance companies too). How many people with MS have sudden lack of motor strength?

I feel very sorry for the family of the mother and daughter and know they want answers as to how the accident happened, but for the sake of all the people who have MS wish they hadn’t mentioned MS.

Jen x

Hey Jen Have tried to find it in today’s DM but can’t find it anywhere. Can you tell me which page? Thanks Teresa xx

Was on DM website today - health section about half way down page.

Just googled it and read it on line.

Sounds to me like they have been watching too much Casualty or Holby City.

How many people with MS suddenly collapse at the wheel of their cars, maybe its just me then?


Why do trashy tabloids think they can tell any lie they like? MS does not cause you to ‘randomly slump’ and crash a car. Today has been naff, but they has REALLY made me angry! Wonderful DM, make the ignorant world think that everyone with MS is going to kill people with their driving and sudden blackouts :@

How extraordinary. I expected the story to be a typical piece of DM mangled and exaggerated nonsense, but it does seem to be a pretty straight report, doesn’t it? - the BBC says the same.

All sounds most unlikely to me, though. Poor lady. I can understand the pathologist having an aha! moment when she finds something was the matter with the woman when there is no other obvious explanation, so they’re clutching at straws in the absence of any better ideas, by the sound of things. We are so programmed up to expect a tidy ‘reason’ for everything that happens in life, but sometimes it just doesn’t work that way.

What a sad story, though.



To be fair the the DM (which is not something I make a habit of, I assure you) I think they were just reporting what the pathologist said and not making any more of it.



You win, Oh Well, I take back my uncharacteristic attempt to be fair to the Daily Mail. Their headline was unmitigated shite, as usual. ‘Tragedy of the mother who died with her young daughter in car crash caused by her undiagnosed MS’ - even though the article itself reported that the pathologist had cited it only as a possible contributory factor.

Serves me right for trying to be fair to the unscrupulous, dirty bastards. Ho hum.



Actually, I think ‘Daily Mail’ should be a filtered word.

I met a girl in hospital when I had my LP who was probable MS who had crashed her car because of the sudden onset of vision problems. Maybe this is what happened to this poor woman? What do you think? Teresa xx

I think the headline and the content of the article are inconsistent.

The content of the article makes it clear that the accident could have been caused by MS. It does not say that it definitely was caused by MS.

MS does affect SOME (not ALL) people’s ability to drive. If you have a muscle weakness, or the leg you use for the brake or accelerator pedal does not work properly, these COULD (not WILL) increase the probability of an accident. Each person with MS needs to be honest with themself about how their illness affects their ability to drive, even if the lack of a car could cause considerable inconvenience.

As for people misinterpreting the article, well the Daily Mail can hardly be held responsible for that. The comments following the article seem to express sympathy for the woman and her duaghter.

Also, the Dail Mail is not the only paper that reports MS innaccurately. I remember last year an viedo clip on the Guardian website where a Consultant Neurologist (no less) said that “…MS is diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40…”

Although the MS was undiagnosed, I can’t help wondering whether the woman had undergone any kind of investigations in relation to her symptoms. In my case, I experienced symptoms for 6 years before my diagnosis, and they were initially put down to arthritis, general aging and lack of exercise. I had three operations on my back, neck and shoulder, and it was only when these did not resolve the muscle weakness was I sent to see a Neurologist.

She was on her way to a hospital appointment regarding her previous broken arm. Perhaps her healing arm was the main cause of the accident. Also the presence of lessions alone would not be enough to dx ms. i.e they couldn’t ask her if she had any ms symptoms.


Unfortunately you’ve got no choice but let the DVLA know about your diagnosis it is a legal requirement. I wouldn’t worry unduly about it though, usually people are put on a three year licence.

You will only lose your licence if you are not safe to drive and I’m sure you would not want to drive if that were the case

Good Luck!

I have had the miss fortune to have been associated with MS for 25 years. I am therefore well aware that many do not disclose MS to either their insurance company or the DLVC.

What you do is of course up to you but it is a legal requirement to disclose MS to both the DLVC and your insurance company.

On the plus side I have never known anyone to be stopped from driving while they still feel able to do it. The evidence of course will be taken from your doctors and if they are not telling you that you are unfit to drive then almost certainly DVLC or your insurance company will not stop you. If your insurance company has any objection of course you can shop around.

On the minus side DVLC are slow and often a pain to deal with and you definitely do not need all that right now, however your fears of loosing your licence are almost certainly miss placed.

Declaration of MS is now not even a definite ban from driving lorries and coaches although for obvious reason that is more carefully controlled.

Actually, I think it was cathardy who said:

I was diagnosed three weeks ago and one of the things I am really worried about is loosing my licence. I am so scared to let DVLA know about my condition.

But, cathardy, the advice is right.

You must advise both the DVLA and your insurance company immediately.

A simple letter that sais that you have been diagnosed with MS, that your consultant says that you are safe to drive, and that you have informed the Insurance/DVLA as appropriate to which one you are writing to. The insurance co. may even acknowledge your letter, and the DVLA will send you a form to fill in. If they ask for your old licence to be returned - do not send it back. Just return the completed form - and wait - and wait.

Do not give them any details - the form will ask for those.


I think it is probably unwise to assume your condition and symptoms are the only possibilities of MS. I’ve never slumped suddenly when sitting but I have had back trouble when standing causing me to fight to stay upright when washing the dishes. I have woken up from bed and discovered my right leg won’t do anything other then straighten in spasm when I tried to get up. I do have vision problems that come and go a few times a day, depending on how much stress my body is under.

I don’t drive anymore, I sold my car just over 2 months ago because I felt I wasn’t able to drive safely anymore. It really worries me people think its better to “keep driving” and not deal with the issue, rather than put other peoples lives into consideration on the road. I don’t care if you die while driving, thats your choice, I care who you might take with you.

There are so many reasons why I am no longer safe to drive and a garage door with dents in it to remind me of one of the reasons.