Study: Reporting At-Risk Drivers Reduces Car Accidents

A recent report by researchers at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital indicates that doctor’s warnings to at-risk patients about driving had a very real and immediate effect in reducing the incidence of car accidents. The results of the study were reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Doctors in Ontario are required to report people with conditions that affect driving such as alcoholism, diabetes, epilepsy or uncontrolled high blood pressure to the Ministry of Transportation. The patients then receive a warning letter from the government and are required to have regular medical check-ups and be free of certain symptoms in order to keep their driver’s licenses. Statistics show that only up to 30% actually have their license suspended under the program.

Doctor Reporting Has Immediate Effect

Up till now there has been conflicting evidence as to the effectiveness of the reporting measure, but the recent study pointed to an immediate drop of 45% in car crashes caused by the patients in question. This comes in contrast with physician’s warnings about health issues like smoking and diet, which most often do not have the desired effect.

In Canada, a unified system of patient records means that changing a doctor doesn’t make a difference, which is perhaps what is making the difference. It’s important not only to the patients themselves but to their potential victims in a motor vehicle accident. The devastation caused by such an accident can be severe. While taking away driving privileges is extreme and can cause hardship, the safety of all drivers has to be taken into account.

You Never Know

You may get behind the wheel of your car every day without incident, but you never know about the other drivers on the road and what their situation might be. A proactive approach like the one spotlighted by the study is always a step in the right direction.


  • If you are involved in a car or motor vehicle accident, the effects to your health may not be immediately obvious.
  • It can take time for doctors to diagnose a car injury properly and determine whether it will lead to a permanent disability.

Rather than waiting for this determination to be made and running the risk of losing the right to seek compensation for injuries and lost wages from the at-fault driver, an accident victim should contact a car accident lawyer right away.

We Focus On Car & Motor Vehicle Accidents

Petrillo Law has been providing competent, caring legal advice to car accident victims in Mississauga, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and across Ontario for over 20 years. We can evaluate a case to determine whether it meets the provincial threshold required to start a lawsuit as well as represent injured people who have been denied accident benefits by their own insurance company.

Being injured in a motor vehicle accident is a traumatic event and Petrillo Law has the knowledge and experience to help accident victims receive the benefits and compensation that they are entitled to. We understand what our clients are going through and are ready and willing to look after dealing with the insurance companies so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.

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