There are more than 40 million licensed drivers ages 65 and older in the U.S. And while driving can help with mental sharpness and independence, 16 older adults are killed in crashes every day.
Physicians are in a unique position to assess impairments, address underlying causes of functional and cognitive decline, and provide their patients with options that may prolong safe driving.
In South Dakota, mandatory reporting is not required regarding those who are believed to no longer have the ability to drive safely. However, it is highly encouraged that medical professionals voluntarily submit a Medical Statement detailing any medical issues that may interfere with safe driving so the medical community and the Driver Licensing Program within the Department of Public Safety can work in partnership to keep our roadways safe.
Alternatively, a medical professional, family member or member of law enforcement may submit a Driver Evaluation Request to the Driver Licensing Program if they are concerned about a person's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle and would like to have his or her driving skills re-evaluated by a Driver Licensing examiner.
Physician’s Guide to Assessing and Counseling Older Drivers (American Medical Association and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
Medical Review Practices for Driver Licensing (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators)
Confidentiality & HIPAA
For purposes of sharing medical information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Department of Public Safety is considered a public health entity. The Department of Public Safety is the state agency responsible for public health matters relating to the monitoring of drivers who may be ineligible for driving privileges because of a disease or disability resulting in a cognitive or functional impairment that affects the driver's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
The medical information contained in the reports required by Driver Licensing is confidential and shall only be used to determine the ability of a person to safely operate a motor vehicle, and for taking any action deemed necessary by Driver Licensing.