The percentage of all holders of a drivers license that are older than 65 is increasing in all Western countries. As persons in this age also have been car drivers for all their life they will continue to drive which also means that a higher percentage of elderly persons are active drivers. Especially the percentage of older female drivers will rise steeply.
Many of the older drivers are very fit but we will see an increasing number of persons with age-related diseases that can affect their fitness to drive. Thus there is a need to ensure that persons with diseases that make them dangerous in traffic will be sorted out. In this process society needs the help of doctors and in many cases this doctor will be the local GP. The role of the GP differs in the Nordic countries where some has an obligation for the GP to report to the authorities when a patient is unfit to drive while in other countries there are periodic medical examinations or obligations for the drivers themselves to report.
The diseases that are most prominent in elderly persons are the ones that affect cognitive functioning as in dementia and with sequelae after a stroke. The dangers in traffic makes these persons at increased risk in accidents in complicated traffic at intersections and when not yielding for traffic on a road with more heavy traffic. Problems with visual field defects after a stroke could also affect the ability to notice a pedestrian or bicyclist in time.
Apart from this there is also the role of the GP when it comes to persons (of all ages) with a diagnosis of dependency or abuse of alcohol. In most Nordic countries a person who had his license revoked after a drunk driving conviction has to prove that he is sober enough to get his license back by giving blood samples and by meeting the GP over a period of time. Alcohol interlock is used in some countries.