Quitting driving: Families key but docs have role

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Associated Press

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 8:56 AM

WASHINGTON—Families may have to watch for dings in the car and plead with an older driver to give up the keys. But there’s new evidence that doctors can have more influence on one of the most wrenching decisions facing a rapidly aging population.

A large study from Canada found a drop in serious crash injuries among aged drivers if doctors warn them and tell driving authorities that they may be medically unfit.
The study in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine couldn’t tell if the improvement was because those patients drove less, or drove more carefully once the doctors pointed out the risk.
But that raises the question of how families and doctors can work together to determine if and when age-related health problems are bad enough to impair driving.

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