• Feb 27, 2011
According to Consumer Reports, researchers have discovered that three simple tests at the doctor's office can accurately determine whether a stroke victim is fit to begin driving again. These tests take under 15 minutes and can effectively classify 80 to 85 percent of drivers who would have failed an on-road evaluation.

The first test assesses traffic knowledge and visual comprehension via road-sign recognition, while the second measures visual-perceptual and mental speed in a compass test. Finally, a trail-marking test is used to indicate visual-motor tracking and visual scanning abilities. If the individual being evaluated scores below 8.5/12 points on the first evaluation, 25/32 points on the second or takes more than 90 seconds on the trail-marking examination, chances are he or she would fail a road test.

The study was published in the journal of the American Academy of Neurology and included information from 30 previous trials. A total of 1,728 stroke victims with an average age of 61 were involved in the research.

[Source: Consumer Reports | Image: Skip Nall/Getty]


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  • 19 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      They should make these tests mandatory for license renewal.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well I have a short story about this. About six years ago I was leaving the market with a carriage full of food and was crossing the parking lot in the cross walk when I was struck by a generation 2 Lincoln Mark VII. I bounced of the bumper did a flip and landed on my ass unharmed.

      Turns out that the 80 year old male driver had a stroke earlier that day and after a vodka martini he decided to drive around. Best part is that after he hit me he continued to drive and hit an Astro Van.

      Was it the drunkenness or the stroke?

      Perhaps it was a mix of both.
      • 3 Years Ago
      That is the scariest picture I've seen on Autoblog. Sent shivers up my spine. Made me tell my wife I love her.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Wow, you scare very easily!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Strokes are notoriously difficult to diagnose, and TIAs can be almost imperceptible, but still make a driver unsafe.

      Difficult one to call this, but certainly very regular tests should be mandatory, as well as full re-tests every three years after the age of seventy for all. In Britain GPs have to sign drivers off as fit every three years after seventy, when the normal licence expires and is replaced by a triennial one, but there is no re-test. All medical conditions have to be listed or the licences are invalid. These measures help, but there are still plenty of old codgers driving who should not be. A driving licence is a privilege, not a right.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Forgot to mention that they did road test me ten years ago.
      • 3 Years Ago
      ... i wish the title would have been "...after you stroke?"

      lol
        • 3 Years Ago
        How about "during your stroking"?
      • 3 Years Ago
      @Flash- I agree!

      @Paul - I don't know about you but a majority of the "old" people I know are sitting on their arse collecting a big fat pension and social security while Medicare pays for thier perscriptions. When they need to go run errands they drive 10 under the speed limit and enjoy scaring other drivers sensless by periodically swerving or stomping on their brakes because they "though they saw something". I've had 2 very good friends lose thier life as a result of the inability of our elders to drive is a safe manner. I don't see why they couldn't pay somebody to drive them around (who wouldn't want to be chauffeured around anyway?). I also happen to know quite a few young people (17-25) who would kill for a job right now! Fancy degrees and higher education don't mean crap when the economy is the way it is right now.

      @Cowboy - you're not an exception to the rule. If your old arse croaks while "running 10's" you're likely to kill more than just yourself. Think about the people around you!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think my grandma started driving about a month after her stroke.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Now age 66, I will disregard complications of my diabetes, such as blindness,neuropathy in my arms and legs, and coma...I will continue to drive as long as I can stomp on the gas pedal...Vroom, vroom...
        • 3 Years Ago
        So can you. I can help.
      • 3 Years Ago
      All drivers over age 85 "are unsafe at any speed"... They can croak at any moment...
        • 3 Years Ago
        My father stopped driving three years ago at age 84 due to leg problems. He's 87 now and doesn't miss it. He enjoys being a passenger and observing the scenery...
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