Medical referral and license disposition for drivers in Iowa

Driver retirement and determination of fitness-to-drive are important aspects of reducing the risk of motor-vehicle collision for an older driver. A lack of information about the review process may lead to poor evaluation of drivers or an increased testing burden to referred drivers. This paper evaluates the license review process for the state of Iowa. The authors evaluated data from January 2014 to January 2018 and described the source of referral, testing process, and ultimate license disposition. Cox proportional hazards for competing risk were used to determine the risk of having a change in restrictions on the license and the risk of license denial. 20,742 individuals were followed through the medical referral process. The most common source of referrals was licensing officials (39.7%). Drivers referred by licensing officials were less likely to be denied their license when compared to drivers from other sources (HR = 0.92 95%CI: 0.87–0.98); however, licensing official referrals were more likely to result in license restrictions compared to other sources (HR = 1.91, 95%CI: 1.82–2.00). Drivers referred by either law enforcement or a physician were more likely to ultimately have their license denied. Physician and law enforcement referred the drivers most likely to have their license denied. A smaller proportion of drivers were referred by physicians and law enforcement compared to licensing officials. Licensing agencies should work with physicians and law enforcement to identify drivers who may need a review of their license. Comprehensive tracking of all medical referrals for a driver’s license review is important for individual states to understand the burden of their driver referral process and for identifying referral sources with a high proportion of referrals with no licensing change for targeted outreach and education.


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  • Accession Number: 01765978
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 31 2020 4:33PM