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Green light for the elderly
Should older drivers be routinely screened for their fitness to drive? Not according to a new position statement from the European Federation of Psychologists' Associations, which concludes that age-based population screening is 'not only ethically questionable, but actually has greater economic costs than benefits for society, particularly when the proportion of the older population is increasing.'
Although screening of older drivers is used as a safety measure in most European countries, the statement considers two problems with this. 'First, older drivers generally do not have increased accident risk that calls for the society to invest in a costly age-based population screening, and second, according to research literature, aged-based population screening does not succeed in producing the desired safety benefits.'
Indeed, the report argues that screening tends to take drivers, who would never have ended up in an accident anyway, off the roads. 'These people potentially lose their independent mobility for no reason. This is a serious issue as mobility has been linked to quality of life and psychological health.'
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