9 October 2019

Recent Victorian Coronial reports on road deaths associated with driver medical conditions have highlighted the importance of the licensing authority-led medical review process for ensuring road safety.

Conversations about driving are difficult, and patients are often concerned about losing their licence and their independence. However, patients and their families rely on advice from health professionals about how medical conditions, disabilities and treatments, including medications, might affect safe driving ability and about their reporting obligations.

Referral of patients to VicRoads Medical Review facilitates ongoing management of driving, as reminders for periodic medical review associated with continued licensing (conditional licences) are sent directly to the patient.

The VicRoads website now provides easy access to information for health professionals, including fact sheets describing the VicRoads Medical Review process and health professional obligations.

New patient fact sheets are also available to support conversations about driving. These address the impacts of various medical conditions on driving and the driver’s legal obligations.

Tips to promote fitness to drive in your practice

  • Include the VicRoads web page in your favourites to support patient conversations
  • Display fact sheets in waiting rooms to promote awareness about fitness to drive
  • Encourage family and carers to attend when you are having conversations with patients about their driving
  • Record your advice about driving and any actions or outcomes in your file notes
  • Ensure all practice staff know about resources available to support patient conversations
  • Discuss as a team how you can start conversations early with patients, family members and carers when managing chronic conditions
  • Advise patients that VicRoads Medical Review does not usually result in a loss of licence (Supporting information is available in a recent RACV study)
  • Use the 75Plus health check as an opportunity to discuss driving

By VicRoads and Project Health.

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