Medical Review Data: Review Driver Tests

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned ReportResearch


Accurate data regarding the medical review process is critical in order for VicRoads to develop strategies to better identify and manage at-risk drivers. Of particular importance is benchmarking to measure increases in referral numbers and types of drivers following implementation of strategy elements. Thus, the aim of this research was to collect baseline data by developing a database for Medical Review data, and describing the characteristics of the medical review process for a sample of cases.

The specific objectives of this research were to: (i) determine the prevalence of different types of medical conditions or impairments amongst Review Driver Test cases in the Medical Review database, and compare with the prevalence of these conditions in the adult population; (ii) link records with crash data for Medical Review cases; (iii) link and describe the licence outcomes for Medical Review cases, and; (iv) to the extent possible, describe the characteristics of Medical Review cases, including referral sources, reasons for referral, and the medical review process.

The cohort comprised 152 cases that were predominantly male (61.8%) with a mean age of 75.4 years (range 20-93 years). Around two-thirds of cases in the cohort were referred by Victoria Police, and the most common reason for first referral was as a result of a crash, followed by generic concerns about fitness to drive. Around two thirds of the sample retained their driving licence in either a conditional or unconditional capacity, and the majority of these cases retained their licence subject to periodic review. A small number of cases crashed following referral to Medical Review (a minimum of 12 months post-referral). It was also noted that more cases were referred by the Police as a result of a crash than was reflected by the official crash records.

The majority of cases had at least one medical condition, and many had multiple medical conditions. These medical conditions were compared with population prevalence data, however the sample characteristics with respect to age and gender make interpretation and meaningful comparisons with the general population difficult.

Although the sample size in the current study is limited, some interesting avenues for further research emerged. Firstly, it would be valuable to investigate crashes in a larger sample, particularly the circumstances around crashes prior to referral and following referral to medical review. The safety benefits of the medical review process could also be evaluated by analysing the extent of crash involvement of those drivers deemed fit to continue driving with either unconditional or restricted licences. It would also be interesting to explore whether minor collisions are a valid referral trigger for a medical review process. Secondly, it was found that a large proportion of cases retained their licence subject to periodic review, and further evaluation of the cost-effectiveness and benefits of this process are warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyRoads Corporation (trading as VicRoads) (Victoria)
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Medical Review
  • Licensing
  • Road safety

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