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Article
April 17, 1948

EPILEPTIC PERSONS ARE UNSAFE DRIVERS

Author Affiliations

San Francisco, Calif.

JAMA. 1948;136(16):1062. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890330052021

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Abstract

To the Editor:  There is a California law which requires that epilepsy, interpreted as " lapses of consciousness which may become chronic," be reported by the attending physician to the state board of health. In this way the epileptic driver is discovered and the use of a license is revoked. A similar law exists in the states of Oregon, Wisconsin and Indiana. The hospital of the University of California has in its files records of many dramatic instances of accidents caused byepileptic persons who have experienced seizures while driving automobiles. It is my impression that if a similar law is enacted in other states, it will mean a substantial contribution toward the prevention of motor vehicle accidents. Dr. W. E. Carter, director of the outpatient department, will provide further information on this subject. Likewise, Mr. Fred Williams, Motor Vehicle Department, Sacramento, Calif. has listed casualties known to have occurred while epileptic

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