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Published in April 2019, this document is designed to help doctors and other healthcare professionals assess medical fitness to drive
Our goal is to help doctors and licensing authorities promote safe mobility in Ireland.
Our office was jointly established by RCPI and the Road Safety Authority of Ireland in 2011, bringing the specialty of Traffic Medicine to Ireland for the first time.
We are led by Professor Desmond O’Neill, Consultant Physician in Geriatric and Stroke Medicine, Tallaght Hospital Dublin and Professor of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin.
The term “traffic medicine” evolved to embrace all the disciplines, techniques, and methods aimed at reducing the harm traffic crashes inflict on human beings.
This includes medical and surgical care provided to crash victims, improving vehicle crashworthiness, developing better safety belts and brakes, designing safer roads and traffic control systems, training and educating drivers, research into the biomechanics and epidemiology of traffic crashes, and developing and enforcing traffic safety policies.
The best-known element of traffic medicine is the need for medical certification showing fitness to drive.
Driving gives people independence – you can go where you want, when you want.
Medical Fitness to Drive guidelines highlight the need for all of us to appreciate and accept responsibility for managing our health and medications for safe driving. Our doctor may advise us on the impact on driving of our health and medications but we have responsibility not to drive if we ever feel unfit to do so. For example, you should not drive if you feel dizzy or light-headed or if you are a diabetic and you feel hypoglycaemic.
Being a responsible driver means not only listening to your doctor's advice, but on a day-to-day basis not ignoring signs of impairment that may make you unfit and therefore unsafe to drive.
Driver fitness is governed by EU law and regulations made in Ireland under the Road Traffic Acts.
Through our Traffic Medicine Certificate and education and outreach programme we provide expert training and advice for medical practitioners.