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Controversies in Internal Medicine
October 13, 2003

Driver Screening for Older Adults

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine, Los Angeles, and the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Sepulveda, Calif. The author has no relevant financial interest in this article.



Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(18):2129-2131. doi:10.1001/archinte.163.18.2129

WHEN reflecting on the oft-asked question "Should older drivers have to prove they can drive?" one finds that no facile answer come comes to mind. Several key issues need to be considered before one can propose a satisfactory response. To begin, if by "prove" we mean pass tests above and beyond what are customary for other drivers, then important questions arise: Are older drivers (65 years or older) different in some way other than age? Are they less safe drivers than younger drivers? By some measures, seniors are safe drivers. More than 70% wear seat belts, the highest percentage of any driving category. They respect the speed limit more than drivers in other age groups, seldom take risks behind the wheel, and receive the fewest moving violations of any drivers.1

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