Current research indicates that many illnesses and medications can have a negative impact on driving ability. For example, the risk of a crash in which the driver was determined to be at-fault can be 2 to 3.5 times higher for drivers with a high risk medical condition than those drivers who are considered healthy. Some of the high risk conditions that can affect driving ability include:
- Chronic kidney failure
- Dementia such as Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia
- Heart failure
- Lung Diseases
- Neurological disorders such as head injury, Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis
- Vision impairments such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration
- Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea
Many, but not all, of these high risk conditions are age associated. However, simply having an illness or medical condition, just like being of a certain age, does not mean you are an unsafe driver.
The research and activities of the Medically At-Risk Driver Centre will be focused on evidence-based outcomes and education that allows policy and program decisions to be based on the effects of the illness on one’s functional ability (e.g., sensory, motor, or cognitive functioning) rather than on age or the presence of an illness.
This world-class Centre is committed to improving the safety and mobility for Albertans. It is not a Centre that is targeting the removal of elderly drivers or drivers based on diagnostic category (e.g., diabetes) from our roadways.