Driving with dementia: Equity, obligation, and insurance
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Driving is a complex task, yet some people with dementia are capable of driving safely.1–5 As driving a vehicle is a privilege and not a right,6–8 clinicians are often called upon to provide guidance regarding their patients’ ability to drive safely.1,9,10 The Australian Bureau of Statistics has predicted that by 2056, one in four Australians will be aged over 65.11 Older members of our community are increasingly dependent upon the private car as their preferred, and in some cases only viable, mode of transport.5,8 Given that the prevalence of dementia rises with age, we can expect an increased number of drivers with dementia on our roads.5 As outlined in the National Health and Medical Research Council 2013–15 Strategic Plan, Australian health ministers have designated dementia and injury prevention as national health priority areas.12 Thus, there now exists both an impetus and an opportunity to address the issue of driving and dementia on a national level. The purpose of this editorial is to consider: (1) the social impact of a loss of licence; (2) driver and health professional obligations to report conditions that can adversely affect driving; and (3) the response of motor vehicle insurers to the issue of driving with dementia.
Australasian Medical Journal
Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified