Traffic accidents killed about 40,000 individuals last year and injured about 1,500,000. This constitutes one of the nation's largest unsolved health hazards. Physicians have not realized or accepted their responsibilities in this health problem as they have with heart disease, cancer, and other disease entities.
Since the human factor is the most important single factor responsible for motor vehicle accidents, the physician must initiate and participate in research designed to determine the relationship between physical and emotional factors and the etiology of accidents. He is the only person able to ascertain the physical, mental, emotional, or physiological impairments of an individual and to evaluate these disabilities in relation to safe driving ability. It is the responsibility of the physician to persuade a patient to discontinue driving when he no longer is able to drive with safety.
Motor vehicle drivers may be classified as two general types: civilian or private drivers