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


    Four hundred and ninety-four disabled drivers, the majority with loss of function in the legs usually as the result of poliomyelitis or amputations, have been studied with respect to the frequency of traffic accidents and serious traffic offences during a 10-year period. Traffic accidents which may have been caused by their disability occurred in only three (0·6%) of the total number of drivers investigated. In all three cases the driver had loss of function in the right leg.

    A comparison was made between the investigation series and a control series identical as regards sex, age, and licence-holding period but with a shorter exposure to traffic than the investigation series. The frequency of traffic accidents amounted to 7·1% in both series, and the frequency of serious traffic offences was 12·2% in the investigation series and 14·8% in the control series. Disabled drivers are not an increased hazard in traffic. The compensatory technical modifications to the vehicle which are generally adopted appeared to be adequate. However, there was a relatively increased frequency of accidents among drivers with loss of function in the right leg or right arm. An improvement of the technical modifications applied in these cases might result in a further reduction of the road-safety risks.

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