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J Emerg Med. 2006 Jan;30(1):29-39.

Physician reporting of medically impaired drivers.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut, USA.


Emergency physicians frequently encounter patients whose medical conditions represent a risk of loss of control while driving, e.g., epilepsy and diabetes. In certain states, physicians are under a legal obligation to report such drivers to the motor vehicular authorities. To determine the uniformity of legislated reporting requirements for physicians caring for patients whose medical conditions represent an automotive hazard, we conducted a survey of Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) legal departments of all the states in the United States for the academic year 1999-2000 regarding physician reporting of patients with medical conditions that might predispose them to a motor vehicle crash (MVC) and compared the results to a similar study done in 1986. Six (12%) of the states had mandatory reporting laws, 25 (49%) had permissive reporting laws, and 20 (39%) had no laws regarding physician reporting. There was a significant difference between the distribution of laws by year. There was no uniformity on a national level concerning such legislation.

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