Calls To Disclose Active Medical Conditions Could Save Lives

Friday, 10. February 2017

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

Failing to disclose an active medical condition can not only result in a serious accident but also a prison sentence. This happened recently when a woman fell asleep at the wheel as a result of suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea, a condition that isn’t uncommon.


Having fallen asleep her car crossed to the other side of the road and hit an oncoming car head on causing the death of the other driver. After pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and the court finding out that she had been diagnosed the condition 2 years earlier she was clearly heading for prison.


As soon as she had been diagnosed with the condition that could affect her driving she should have immediately informed the DVLA but of course this has raised the issue of when should the DVLA be advised and by whom. Whilst there may be a list of conditions that you must report if you have them I certainly don’t know them other than eyesight.


So should it be the responsibility of the GP already under pressure to treat lots of sick people in his waiting room? And even if a driver is diagnosed with a condition that should result in immediate confiscation of their driving licence there is an obvious incentive not to advise the DVLA knowing that they would have to submit their licence.


But the risks to their lives, the lives of passengers and other road users are too great to ignore this situation. The current procedures are a mess. Once a driver has been diagnosed with or believes they have a condition that could prevent them from driving they must apply for an independent assessment from a doctor in order to obtain the doctor’s approval.


But the DVLA doesn’t require evidence of this and the driver is allowed to continue driving pending the assessment. Road safety charity Brake have been assessing some of the safety issues and have so far come up with a recommendation for drivers to have an eye test before taking their driving test and a minimum of every 10 years thereafter.


It’s a start but far too weak in my opinion. In the meantime, having been the victim of a driver falling asleep in a car approaching and drifting across the road in front of me, I can tell you that it’s a scary experience. I mounted a dirt bank and avoided an accident with miraculously not even any damage to my car, but it could all have ended much much worse!


Be vigilant, you never know when you will need to take avoiding action. And if you are suffering a dangerous condition get checked out, it could save several lives. By Graham Hill

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