Palm Desert Auto Accidents Caused By Medical Conditions
Too many Palm Desert auto accidents are caused by drivers who are unfit to drive because of medical reasons. In a study published in the September 27th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine researchers from the University of Toronto medical school concluded that doctors who advise their patients not to drive or to drive using extra caution for medical reasons could help in saving the lives of their patients and other innocent accident victims on the road.
Dr. Donald Redelmeir, the lead researcher, concluded that doctor's warnings to medically unfit drivers can lead to a forty to fifty percent reduction in the risk of a serious car crash. He also found that the negative effect of this kind of advice to a patient can jeopardize the doctor patient relationship if the patient feels the doctor is threatening the patient's independence. The patients warned by their doctors about limiting their driving or actually stopping the activity included patients who had been diagnosed with or taking medications to treat sleep apnea, high blood pressure or Parkinson's disease.
Other medical conditions that were noted in this study to impact a driver's ability to operate a motor vehicle were dizzy spells, stroke, epilepsy, Alzheimer's alcoholism, and advanced diabetes and schtzophphrenia. Unfortunately the warnings about driving by the doctor increased some of the patient's depression. For the study, researchers identified patients whose physician had warned them about their medical condition being a danger to their driving a car or other motor vehicle. From April 2006 until December 2009, over 100,000 patients had been warned about driving by over 6,000 doctors.
During the three years prior to the warnings, 1430 car crashes occurred while a patient was driving. In the year following the warnings to the patients' auto accidents dropped to 273 which was a 45 percent decrease in crashes per 1,000 patients warned. This decrease accidents occurred regardless of the age or the specific reason for the medical warning.
Canada pays doctors if they warn patients not to drive because of medical reasons and report it to the government. In the United States we do not pay doctors to warn patients and the actual reporting laws for doctors vary from state to state.
As a Palm Desert auto accident lawyer I know from years of investigating and handling personal injury matters that many unexplained stupid driving mistakes made by negligent drivers were caused by medical conditions that should have required that those drivers be kept of the roads. The licenses of many of our senior citizens should be revoked for health and age related reasons. I have sued drivers who were close to 90 who should have been kept out of the driver's seat by a family member or a doctor. The DMV has also dropped the ball in too many of these cases. The reissuance of driver's licenses to many seniors without an actual driving test is unacceptable. I know I am upsetting a certain demographic with this blog; but I see firsthand the tragic results of vehicle accidents.
Call Barry Regar APLC today if you or a family member has been injured in a car crash. The consultation is free.