M Yates, JE Ibrahim
Journal Issue: 
Volume 44: Issue 1: 2014



When Bridget Driscoll, a 44-year-old mother of two died after being struck by a motor vehicle, considered to be the first motor vehicle fatality in UK and possibly the world, the coroner stated ‘I trust this sort of nonsense will never happen again’.1 Sadly, the coroner, medical practitioners and general public would be deeply and repeatedly disappointed. It was 1896. Motor vehicles were a curiosity. Drivers did not undergo any form of testing, be it medical fitness, driving ability or otherwise, and there were no licensing regulatory agencies. By 2010, road injury was the ninth most common cause of death globally (1.3 million deaths per annum) and dementia the fourth most common in high income countries.2 By 2030 the number of all licensed UK drivers who are 65 years or older will increase by almost 50% to almost one in every four drivers.3 If the juxtaposition of driving with dementia in an ageing population is not already a contentious social, political and medical issue, it certainly will become so. KEYWORDS Driving, dementia, ageing, physician’s role, clinical assessment