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The Safety of Drivers with Chronic Disease
  1. Lars Ysander
  1. County Hospital, Varberg, Sweden, in collaboration with the Institute of Social Medicine, Stockholm


    Six hundred and twelve drivers with chronic disease, mainly diabetes, cardiovascular disease, renal disorders, and diseases of the sense organs, were investigated with regard to the frequency of road accidents and serious driving offences during a 10-year period. Road accidents directly caused by the disease or its treatment occurred in four (0·8%) cases, all due to hypoglycaemic attacks in insulin-treated diabetics. A comparison was made between the investigation series and a control series identical with regard to number, sex, age, and duration of licence-holding. About 50% of the drivers in each series were asked about their exposure to traffic; this proved to be similar in both series. The percentages of drivers experiencing road accidents were 4·1 in the investigation series and 7·7 in the control series. The corresponding figures for road accidents and serious driving offences taken together were 9·8% and 15·3%. The conclusion is drawn that any increased risk to road safety constituted by drivers with the specified chronic diseases may be satisfactorily offset by the restrictions applied in Sweden in the granting of licences to these drivers.

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