Cracks in Program Leaves Medically Unsafe Drivers on Florida Roads
When you think of dangers to watch out for and try to avoid on the road, one of the last things that might come to your mind is medically unfit drivers. However according to a data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles more than 8,000 crashes have occurred due to a medical emergency in the past three years.
The data showed that in the five years between 2012 and 2017, over 78,000 people were reported to the state with questionable driving ability. Out of that 78,000, over 12,000 were deemed unfit to drive by a Medical Advisory Board and their licenses were revoked. Another almost 23,00 drivers had re-examinations ordered.
Hillsborough County Sherrif Officer, Milo Millovitch said, “Being medically unfit is just as bad as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Medical is hardly unusual here, epilepsy or seizures, uncontrolled diabetes, dementia, loss of consciousness to name a few.”
The Florida Medical Review Program was established to keep medically unfit drivers off the road, but it was discovered that the program wasn’t doing all that it should. Back in 2013, Auditors flagged the program for failing to timely revoke licenses from these medically unfit drivers. This year, another report showed that out of 50 cases that need a follow-up, 20% of the time it did not occur. This means that potentially medically unfit drivers are currently on the road. Currently, there are 75,000 open and active medical review cases, but it’s unknown how many of those have received follow-up.
Any physician or person of agency can report a driver who is unfit to operate a car as the result of a medical issue. You can click here to learn more on how to do this. Any information reported is kept anonymous and no legal action can take place against the person who submitted the report.
If you or anyone you know might think they are medically unfit, please go to the doctor and encourage the unfit driver to stay off the road.