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"Warning patients who are medically unfit to drive may reduce the risk of road crashes," the researchers conclude.
Paying Doctors to Report Nike Sb Janoski Max White Black Unfit DriversRedelmeier's team analyzed data from the Canadian province of Ontario. Since the late 1960s, doctors in Ontario have had the duty to report any patient "suffering from a condition that may make it dangerous for the person to operate a motor vehicle."
This benefit comes at a cost.
Few doctors issued such reports. So in 2006, Ontario began paying doctors about $36 for reporting they'd given a patient an unfit to drive warning. As a result, about 10% to 30% of these patients had their driver's license suspended.
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Downside of Reporting Unfit DriversEven though they still got regular medical care, 29% of patients who received unfit to drive warnings saw less of the doctor who reported them. That includes Nike Sb Janoski Black Blue
Fewer Crashes When Docs Report Unfit Drivers
"The data also suggest that physicians' warnings to unfit drivers are associated with a significant increase in depression, can compromise the doctor patient relationship, and still do not reduce the patients' risk to the level of risk in the general population," Redelmeier and colleagues note.
That's a drop of 45%, but it's still higher than the injury rate in the general public. Drivers who had not had an accident before being warned not to drive had the biggest drop in their injury rate.
The researchers identified more than 100,000 people who received unfit to drive warnings. They looked at hospital records to see whether those people had been treated for car crash injuries in which they had been the driver in the three years before they were warned, and in the year after they were warned.
After receiving a warning, patients were more likely to visit an emergency department for depression.
the 10% who stopped seeing the reporting doctor altogether.
Doctors need to use their judgment about which patients are the most likely to benefit from a warning, the researchers write.
Before getting a warning, the drivers averaged 4.76 crash injuries per 1,000 drivers per year. In the year after the warning, the drivers averaged 2.73 crash injuries per 1,000 drivers.
Yet people who are officially warned that they are unfit to drive have 45% fewer serious car crashes over the next year, say University of Toronto researcher Donald A. Redelmeier, MD, and colleagues.
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Some states have mandatory reporting requirements that doctors must follow. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
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