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April 28, 2010

Driving Fitness and Cognitive Impairment: Issues for Physicians

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Michigan Center for Advancing Safe Transportation throughout the Lifespan, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Ann Arbor.

JAMA. 2010;303(16):1642-1643. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.495

As the population of the United States continues to age, society will be faced with increasing numbers of older drivers, some of whom may be cognitively impaired. In their role identifying cognitive impairment and caring for these patients, physicians will increasingly face the need to assess risk and intervene, if necessary. However, research has yet to determine the level of cognitive impairment that constitutes an unacceptable driving risk, although a great deal is known about how dementia (a major cause of age-related cognitive impairment) affects many of the critical abilities needed for driving.1