The New York Times has recently published an article about the guidelines of whether someone with dementia should be allowed to drive a car. But as one researcher pointed out, there is no blood alcohol test for dementia like there is for drinking and driving.
Are drivers with dementia a car accident risk?
The American Academy of Neurology met to talk about new ways to test if someone is likely to cause a car accident due to this condition, putting themselves and others at risk for personal injury. The problem is that it is hard to sometimes identify who has dementia and who does not, as well as how much it can really distract from someone’s ability to drive and thus cause auto accident worries.
According to the Academy’s records and depending on the study, 41 percent to 76 of those with dementia who took an on-road driving test actually passed it. However, the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry’s recommendation is to “stop driving once you have a dementia diagnosis.”
Doctors also use a rule of thumb that’s less formal and known as “the grandchild rule.” This rule essentially means that a senior driver with dementia needs to hand off his or her car keys when their children are concerned about children’s injuries for grandsons and granddaughters if someone will dementia were to cause a car accident.
Two concerns come up, however, when talk of banning people with mental illnesses from driving.
- Many people with dementia are senior citizens who might become isolated if they lose their license to drive.
- This could be considered discrimination or ageism to ban a group of people from driving.
Our San Diego law firm’s car accident attorney’s believe you must determine whether or not a driver with dementia should be allowed to drive on a case-by-case basis. One of the greatest things about our country is that we don’t discriminate against people. Of course, we also think it is important to keep everyone safe, so if you have a driver (of any age) in your family that might be living with this condition, maybe you should help them find ways to get around that don’t involve them driving.
If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, then we urge you to contact our bilingual offices as soon as possible at 1-858-551-2090 or please click here for a FREE consultation with an experienced car accident attorney in San Diego. We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you owe us nothing until we recover money on your behalf.