When reporting a patient to PennDOT, which may result in their driving privilege being restricted, recalled or suspended, a significant impact to the patient's sense of independence can be expected. To help minimize this impact, providing resources to the patient and their family can help them find the means to keep socially active and independent. Although there are numerous resources available through local agencies and accessible through the Internet, we have provided the following downloadable brochures to help with this process. Additionally, the online links provided below can serve as a valuable resource for patients when they face a recall of their driving privilege.
Explaining the Reporting Process to Your Patient
It is possible that your patient and their family will feel apprehensive following the report of their medical condition to PennDOT. PennDOT suggests the following talking points when speaking with the patient:
- Explain the role of health care personnel. Explain that health care personnel are mandated by Pennsylvania law to report to PennDOT specific medical conditions that may impair an individualís ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
- Explain PennDOT's role. Let the patient know that following the receipt of a report, PennDOT initiates an evaluation process. This evaluation process is performed under the supervision of PennDOT's Medical Advisory Board. The person may be asked to provide more specific medical information or to complete a driver's examination, or no action could be taken. As a result of this evaluation process, a person's license may be restricted, recalled or suspended if the person fails to provide the required information. Although PennDOT may request further information from health care personnel, it is PennDOT, not health care personnel, determining if a license should be recalled or restricted.
- Explain the opportunity for remediation. There may be certain instances where the medical condition may be corrected or controlled. Once the condition is corrected or controlled, it may be possible to regain a driver's license or remove a restriction.
The following brochures, which can be directly downloaded and distributed to patients, can help ease their apprehension by explaining the process. Additionally, these publications further explain the mandated role of health care personnel and PennDOTís role in this important process.
Reporting of Medical Conditions Affecting Driver Safety
What to Expect When My Medical Condition has been Reported to PennDOT
Keeping Active When I Can No Longer Drive
Talking With Older Drivers: A Guide for Family and Friends
How is Your Driving Health - A Self-Awareness Checklist and Tips to Help You Drive Safely Longer
AARP's Guide to Keeping Loved Ones Safe on the Road
AARPís Guide to Warning Signs Indicating Someone Should Begin to Limit Driving or Stop Altogether
Pennsylvania Department of Aging
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
AMA Patient and Caregiver Educational Materials
AMA Guide to Counseling the Patient Who is No Longer Safe to Drive
PA Commutes (PennDOTís Alternative Transportation website)
Concerned About Someoneís Driving? (Identifying Unsafe Drivers)
Assessing Fitness to Drive
The following references provide good guidance for health care personnel when determining whether a patient is fit to drive.
NHTSA Model Driver Screening and Evaluation Program