A new study led by Dr. Donald Redelmeier of the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre has found that if drivers with chronic health condition were reported to the government by their doctors, car accidents and traffic accidents could be reduced by up to 45%. However, researchers also concluded that this type of system would potentially harm the doctor-patient relationship and make patients less likely to return to doctors for fear of being reported for conditions such as epilepsy, alcoholism, unregulated high blood pressure, and other conditions.
Researchers studied what happened if doctors were to report chronic health problems to the government and the government sent potentially unsafe drivers a warning letter, potentially suspending a driver’s license if the patient could not manage their condition. According to researchers, drivers were more likely to take a government warning letter seriously and make needed changes, compared with simply getting a warning from their doctor.
In the US, Maine, California, Nevada, Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey, New Mexico and Pennsylvania all have laws requiring drivers to be reported if they have a medical condition which could affect their driving. Florida does not currently have these laws – but would these types of legislation changes help prevent Miami Beach traffic accidents? The studies seem to suggest so.
Having doctors report patients with possible driving issues and medical issues that could affect driving ability could get drivers off the road – before they cause a Miami Beach car accident. It is no secret that medical issues cause Miami Beach truck accidents and car accidents. Each year, people are injured and killed because a driver has dementia, a heart attack or stroke behind the wheel, vision problems, or other medical problems. Drivers with sleep apnea can fall asleep behind the wheel while those with other serious illnesses could have a medical emergency behind the wheel, losing control of their car.
The idea of reporting medical issues that could affect driving ability is not new – truck drivers have faced these types of regulations for years. Commercial truck drivers need to report to medical examinations regularly and are not allowed to drive if they have a condition that makes them dangerous on the roads. Should regular motorists have to meet the same strict standards?
Removing at-risk drivers could help prevent some Miami Beach car accidents, but as researchers have concluded, a system that reports medical issues to government agencies could also hurt doctor-patient relationships. If patients know that they face losing their license, they may be more likely to doctor shop or more likely to avoid visiting the doctor if they believe they could lose driving privileges.
If you have been injured in a Miami Beach traffic accident, don’t delay: contact the Flaxman Law Group for a free, no obligation consultation and to get instant support and suggestions over the phone. Your free consultation allows you to discuss the specific of your case and your options with a personal injury attorney so that you can make an informed decision. Call the Flaxman Law Group today for more details.