Objective: To assess the population impact of chronic conditions on the risk of road traffic crashes.
Methods: Data from three French national databases were extracted and matched: the national health care insurance database, police reports and the national police database of injurious crashes. Exposure to chronic conditions were compared between responsible and nonresponsible drivers. Analysis was performed using the Lasso (least absolute shrinkage and selection operator) method.
Results: 69,630 drivers involved in an injurious crash in France between 2005 and 2008, were included. 6210 (8.9%) were suffering from at least one long-term disease. When adjusted for prescription of medicines, blood alcohol, demographic driver characteristics and crash characteristics, increased risk of being responsible for a crash was found in drivers registered in the French healthcare database with the following long-term diseases: epilepsy (odds ratio [OR]=2.53 [1.53-4.20]), type 1 diabetes (OR=1.47) [1.12-1.92], alcoholic liver disease (OR=3.37 [1.40-8.13]), asthma (OR=1.72 [1.13-2.60]) and specific personality disorders (OR=1.35 [1.05-1.74]). No association was found for cardiovascular diseases or Alzheimer's disease.
Conclusion: The results update the list of medical conditions that may impair driving skills. However, results should be considered cautiously with regards to potential regulatory driving judgments that could have a negative impact on patients' social life.
Keywords: Chronic diseases; Diabetes; Epilepsy; Lasso; Responsibility study; Road traffic crashes.
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