Review of medical fitness to drive in Europe

Understanding the impact of medical fitness to drive is important as the driving population ages. This desktop study set out to examine older driver safety from international best evidence on various aspects likely to affect an older person’s fitness to drive, including the role of education, driver retraining, self-awareness, and cognitive preconditions. The review also reviewed the influence of medication and the role of the medical practitioner, as well as the effectiveness of mandatory licensing retesting. Key recommendations included the need for a standardised screening process across all Member States in assessing fitness to drive, consistent guidelines to assist medical practitioners in their role of assessing a patient’s level of safety, and promotion of materials to help older people make their own decision when to cease driving. A wider use of Medical Assessment Boards across Europe to ensure a consistent process in assessment of fitness to drive would be helpful and the development of an effective and transparent screening protocol based on functional capability is warranted when assessing fitness to drive among older drivers.