According to a study released by AAA Missouri and AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a Missouri law that allows police officers, doctors, licensing staff, and family members to confidentially report potentially unfit drivers has had a big impact.
Drivers who have been reported as possibly unfit are required to pass a physical exam and possibly a driving test. Drivers who refuse to cooperate with the examinations may lose their license.
The ten-year-old law uses performance and medical fitness as reporting criteria, not age. However, the study found that the average age of a driver who was reported as potentially unsafe was 80.
The study, released on Oct. 22, found that 96 percent of drivers aged 50 or older who were identified as potentially unsafe lost their licenses.
Thomas M. Meuser, the study’s lead researcher and a professor of social work and gerontology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, commended the law: “[The law] serves as critical safety net for the identification and evaluation of medically-at-risk drivers who remain behind the wheel despite tangible functional and safety concerns.”
The family of Jason Suroff, 21, lobbied heavily for the law’s passage. In 1993, Suroff was killed when he was run off the road by a 91-year-old man with dementia who was driving the wrong way down Interstate 70, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
A motor vehicle accident can have catastrophic consequences, both for the victim and the victim’s family. Contact an attorney at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. in Saint Louis, Missouri, to discuss your legal options by calling (314) 361-4242.