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Can You Drive After Getting a Tattoo

You know that you’re not supposed to drive immediately after certain dental or doctor appointments, but is the same true for when you step out of a tattoo studio after getting inked? It’s something you certainly need to know before the day of your session, as you need to plan for transit, Uber/Lyft, or task a friend/family-member to pick you up if need be. For some people it’s fine to drive after getting a small or inconsequential (for driving) tattoo. The rule regarding dentists and doctors is steeped in the use of anesthetics, which render you unable to properly operate a motor-vehicle. That said, there are some things to consider before getting behind the wheel. Let’s review.

3 Things to Consider Before Driving Yourself to Your Next Tattoo Appointment

1. Will Your Tattooist Use a Numbing Agent?

If you’ve expressed a low threshold for pain to your tattooist during your initial consultation, they may have planned to use a numbing cream for your upcoming session. If the tattoo and numbing agent is to be used on a part of your body (hands, arms, lower legs) that is required in the act of (or to make a swift response while) driving, then you should have someone pick you up instead.

2. Where the Tattoo is Placed Matters

Carrying over from the concept above, tattoo placement makes a difference. If you get tattooed on the buttocks, back of your thigh, or on a part of your back that comes in direct contact with your driver’s seat, you will experience pain and discomfort while driving. This can absolutely impact your ability to drive effectively and respond to sudden demands (braking, swerving, etc.) to avoid an accident. If you’re tattooing a part of your body that is directly engaged while driving, call an Uber.

3. General Pain Can Lead to Distracted Driving

Even if placement doesn’t come into contact with the driver’s seat, steering wheel, or accelerator/brake pedals there may be cause for concern if you have a low threshold for pain. Post-tattoo pain and discomfort that are typically associated with large tattoos can lead to distracted driving, which (distracted driving) is the leading cause of motor-vehicle accidents in Canada. When it comes to large or complicated designs, bring your bus pass along for the ride.

You know yourself, and how you’ve responded to pain and discomfort in the past. If it typically makes you dizzy and lose focus, or you constantly look down at the point of pain/discomfort, find another (safer) way to get home after getting tattooed.