Posted by Bruce
on October 25, 2000 at 15:41:59:
In Reply to: Re: Automobile Driving and fitness in PD posted by Carole on October 25, 2000 at 14:09:39:
: : This Parkinsons Report is fantastic. Here is some more information I thought may help people.
: : In a journal article by Charles M. Posner M.D. of Harvard Medical School published in 1993, the author reviewed the regulations of The Department of Motor Vechiles of all 50 states with regard to neurologically impaired drivers and applicats for licensure. There was, of course a great variation on the approach and requirements of several jursidictions.
: : The following is a direct quote from Dr. Posner's comments with regard to PD:
: : "Parkinsonism deserves special attention.Although many persons with that condition do not manifest sufficent motor weakness to warrant limiting their driving, slowness of movement (bradykinesia) and rigidity greatly prolong reaction times. As a result they are unable to respond quickly to changing conditions. On that basis driving should be forbidden until they can demonstrate improvement on mediciation. The most accurate assessment is one not made by a physician, but by an experienced driving examiner who conducts a road test under normal traffic conditions. Simulator tests are more realistic for patient testing. In Hoehn and Yahr's stage 1 of parkinsons diease computer simulators tests show that the accuracy of of steering, reaction time,and interperation of traffic signals are impaired. The timing of any assesment of driving in PD may be crucial in relation to diease variability and the on and off phenomenon.
: : Sorry this is so long but I thought it was worth talking about
: : Eileen
: I read this article and agree with you totally! We live in a litigation-crazed society now. I had a very close call driving on the highway 6 years ago and it changed my life; positively. It was a "wake-up" call.
: A man in our area is being sued for falling asleep while driving, and he's being sued for driving and being a diabetic; they're saying his low blood sugar level was responsible for his falling asleep. Someone was killed as a result. They're saying he shouldn't have been driving. This is an issue that can affect us all. I know several PWP who have had terrible accidents, some just a block from their homes, and they admit shouldn't have been driving. It's bad enough to be locked away in our bodies as a prison, but then to be locked up behind bars would be too cruel. Losing a life because we shouldn't be driving at all would be worse. Everyone should know their limitations; I can tell when I'm tired and shouldn't drive. I don't want to take another close chance. I cancel appts. or call for alternative transportation if necessary. Make arrangements for someone to drive me ahead of time if I'm not sure. You can't be too careful these days!
This is a subject that I have thought about for a long time. As far as reaction time, I think if you compared reaction times of people in their 60's or 70's to persons in their 20's you would see a longer time with the oldys whether they had Parkinson's or not. I live in the country so I have to drive to town for grocerys. I honestly don't feel impaired when I am driving, but I feel I am a better driver then when I was younger. Just as a precaution, I drive about midday when I am feeling best. I never drive at night, and most of the time I only drive about 45 miles per hour. I don't drive to other citys and I always give a lot of room for the driver in front of me. I am more patient when I am driving, in contrast to my younger days. It's not that I am forced to drive this way, but I have leatned that it is mandatory to practice defensive driving and I am trying to lower the odds. I have a 99 Ford Escort and it is a very easy car to drive and I think it is the best car i have ever owned. I thought I would end this about a bumper sticker I read while waiting in line at the drugstore. It said"just run out of estrogen and I have a gun." I certainly hope she got her refill. Bruce