Safedrive Medical: Assessing Fitness to Drive

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Tricia Williams

This paper describes the development and content of SafeDrive Medical, and the preliminary results and implications of an evaluation. The findings show that participants found the program useful and user friendly, and were confident in being able to assess and identify at-risk drivers. It is important that health professionals are educated in which medical conditions and disabilities can affect safe driving and therefore need to be reported to VicRoads, and how to advise their patients accordingly. As such, VicRoads developed SafeDrive Medical Seminars to educate health professionals in assessing fitness to drive. These were delivered free of charge to health professionals who attended after business hours. To provide a program which health professionals could undertake in their own time, an online version of SafeDrive Medical was developed in 2005. In 2012 SafeDrive Medical was redeveloped to align with the new Assessing Fitness to Drive for commercial and private vehicle drivers: medical standards for licensing and clinical management guidelines, March 2012. In the state of Victoria (Australia) the licensing system is based on fitness to drive and people can drive to any age as long as they are safe to do so. There is no mandatory reporting of at-risk patients by health professionals, as this may deter drivers from seeking the necessary medical treatment.

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