Following elective orthopaedic surgery or the treatment of a fracture, patients are temporarily unable to drive. This loss of independence may have serious social and economic consequences for the patient. It is therefore essential to know when it is safe to permit such patients to return to driving. This article, based upon a review of the current literature, proposes recommendations of the time period after which patients may safely return to driving. Practical decisions are made based upon the type of surgical intervention or fracture. Swiss legislation is equally approached so as to better define the decision.