Not fit for the road? Here are your keys (February 12, 2008)

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TORONTO, Ont. — A new study has found that hundreds of drivers that are medically unfit to drive remain on Canadian roads and that 37% of drivers involved in serious accidents had a reportable condition that potentially made them unfit to dive.

However, doctors are failing to report the conditions that could result in driving privileges being revoked, according to the report. Seven provinces have a legal obligation for doctors to report a variety of medical conditions to the appropriate transportation authorities.

Dr. Donald Redelmeier, a senior scientist with the Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences, said about 1,000 Canadian drivers die each year as a result of medical conditions. Only a fraction of them were reported to transportation agencies.

“One-third of drivers involved in serious crashes were suffering from a chronic medical condition that contributed to the crashes,” Redelmeier, told the Globe and Mail. “Almost all of them had seen a doctor in the previous year leading up to the crash, yet almost none of them had been reported. The extent of this under-reporting is really remarkable.”

The findings were published yesterday in the Journal of Open Medicine.

– With files from the Globe and Mail

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