Some people should not have a driver’s license because of a medical condition, whether physical or mental. Every time they get behind the wheel, they pose a danger to themselves and everyone around them.
How dangerous are medically impaired drivers? Medical emergencies contributed to more than 8,000 crashes over the past three years in the state, according to a recent report from Southwest Florida’s Fox4 News. This is based on data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
“Being medically unfit is just as bad as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy Milo Millovitch told Fox4. “Epilepsy or seizures, uncontrolled diabetes, dementia, loss of consciousness to name a few.”
Medical Review Program is intended to protect Florida drivers
Fortunately, the state of Florida has a Medical Review Program designed to keep these people off the road. An advisory board of volunteer physicians makes recommendations based solely on medical records. The board does not have any contact with individual drivers.
Unfortunately, the state does a poor job of enforcing its own rules to keep you safe. In both 2013 and earlier this year, audits found the program is failing to keep significant numbers of medically impaired drivers off the road. The most recent audit shows the state did not follow through in nearly 20 percent of cases. Further, there are 74,886 active medical review cases waiting to be addressed. Every single one of them represents an accident waiting to happen.
Anyone can report someone who they believe is unsafe to drive because of a medical condition. All information is confidential. To make a report, click here.
Beyond reporting someone, though, there is little you can do to protect yourself from a driver who suffers a medical emergency behind the wheel. A seizure could cause a driver to lose control and veer suddenly into your lane. Dementia could lead a motorist to drive the wrong way on the highway. A driver could be behind the wheel against their doctor’s orders because they are on medication.
In the aftermath of a crash caused by a medically impaired driver in Lake Worth, Pompano Beach or West Palm Beach, you’re likely dealing with major injuries and a growing pile of medical bills. You could be out of work and unable to support your family. In a worst-case scenario, your family is reeling from the loss of a loved one. Adding to your stress, an insurance company is trying to take advantage of your desperate situation by pressuring you to accept a financial settlement that falls far short of what you need – and deserve.
You don’t have to face these overwhelming tasks on your own. The South Florida accident lawyers at Gonzalez and Cartwright have experience handling cases just like yours. We can help you deal with your tragedy and put your life back together.