Neurological Impairment and Driving Ability

  • Danny Wedding
Part of the Critical Issues in Neuropsychology book series (CINP)


Determining when a patient is unfit to drive an automobile because of a neurological defect or disease is a difficult problem both for physicians and for the neuropsychologists they may consult. Driving has symbolic functions that far surpass the utilitarian value of the act itself; for example, it may represent independence, freedom, or masculinity. In addition, the blanket assertion that a patient should no longer drive, albeit a simple decision rule, may fail to address the varied situational demands of driving: the patient who cannot make the rapid decisions required for freeway driving during heavy traffic periods may well retain the capacity for driving to the grocery using-well known and little-traveled streets. Yet one always has lingering doubts—the situational demands of driving to the grocery increase dramatically when a neighborhood child chases a ball in front of an oncoming car.


Posttraumatic Amnesia Symbol Digit Modality Driving Skill Aging Driver Neighborhood Child 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danny Wedding
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of MedicineNational Academy of SciencesUSA

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