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October 4, 1995

Older Drivers and Physicians

Author Affiliations

From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington, DC.

JAMA. 1995;274(13):1060. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530130066030

The article by Dr Levy and colleagues in this issue of The Journal1 addresses the important issue of driver's license renewal for elderly individuals. Whether the reduction in crash mortality found by Levy et al is related to visual testing specifically or to a requirement for retesting in general, maximizing safety for older drivers is crucial as the number of drivers aged 70 years or older on the road increases from 13 million today to a projected 30 million by 2020.2 Driving is an important mobility issue for older Americans, with 88% relying on private automobiles for most of their transportation needs.3 A critical challenge is to balance public and individual safety with individual mobility needs.

Older drivers are unfairly cast as a menace to other road users: older drivers account for the least number of miles driven, the least number of crashes, and the lowest crash

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