Home > Medical fitness to drive, emergency service vehicles and crash risk.

Noonan, Donna and Ryan, Margaret and Whelan, Declan and O'Neill, Desmond (2023) Medical fitness to drive, emergency service vehicles and crash risk. Irish Journal of Medical Science, 192, (5), pp. 2487-2493. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11845-023-03301-0.

External website: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11845-0...

BACKGROUND Emergency service vehicle (ESV) drivers are an important part of the health, fire and police services. ESV driving is associated with increased crash risk, but little guidance exists in the literature on relevant medical conditions among drivers and their potential for adding to higher crash risks.

AIMS We undertook a narrative review to examine the role of medical and other conditions in crash risk of ESV drivers.

METHOD A literature search was conducted using the ScienceDirect and Transport Research International Documentation (TRID) databases. There was no time frame for the search, and results were restricted to review and research articles.

RESULTS Of 570 papers identified, 13 remained after screening and full-text review. A range of factors have been shown to have an impact on increased crash risk, including the nature of the task, physical features of the equipment, training, experience, environmental conditions and secondary tasks. There was scant information on medical conditions other than alcohol use disorders.

CONCLUSIONS Given issues of speed, vehicle and environment, it would seem prudent to mandate levels of medical fitness to drive similar to and sometimes exceeding (i.e. colour blindness for traffic signals and alerts, hearing impairment as first responders) those for group 2 drivers with extra stipulations relating to specific service needs such as enhanced visual (such as colour blindness and contrast sensitivity) and auditory function. Further research is needed on the prevalence and emergence of relevant medical conditions among ESV drivers, with due consideration of their application to the driving tasks in each service.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Intervention Type
Prevention, Harm reduction
Identification #
Page Range
pp. 2487-2493

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