Highway Special Investigation Report - Medical Oversight of Noncommercial Drivers

NTSB Number: SIR-04-01
NTIS Number: PB2004-917002
Adopted November 9, 2004
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Executive Summary

The National Transportation Safety Board's interest in the medical oversight of noncommercial drivers stems from its examination of six noncommercial vehicle accidents in which a driver's medical condition played a role. The Safety Board has also investigated a substantial number of commercial vehicle and school bus accidents involving drivers with impairing or potentially impairing medical conditions.

As a result of its accident investigations and from its March 2003 public hearing, at which the factors that contribute to medically related accidents were discussed, the Safety Board identified the following safety issues:

  • Need for more data on the extent to which medical conditions contribute to the cause of accident.
  • Need for improved awareness and training for healthcare professionals, law enforcement, and the public regarding State medical oversight laws and practices.
  • Existence of barriers to the reporting of medically impaired drivers.
  • Lack of uniform medical assessment and oversight standards throughout the States.
  • Deficiencies in alternative transportation options for those who should not drive.

The Safety Board has issued recommendations to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the American Osteopathic Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Federation of State Medical Boards.