A small research study suggests a link between depression and poorer driving test scores. In fact, there also seemed to be a dose-response relationship with anti-depressants. In other words, the study subjects on the highest doses of anti-depressents got the lowest driving test scores.
Since depression can impair one’s concentration – the link is certainly plausible. I thought it was interesting that anti-depressants seemed to increase the risk for low scores. One would hope that those on anti-depressants were less symptomatic, but it’s also possible that the dosage correlated somewhat with the severity of the disease.
Drivers with conditions that could impact their driving abilities (such as epilepsy or stroke) should report their impairments to the DMV. Will the list of reportable impairments eventually include depression? I doubt it, but it is reportable to the Vehicle Licensing Agency in England.
On the spectrum of risk factors for sloppy driving, I wonder where depression stands?
- Cell phone usage
- Advanced age
- Driving in a foreign country
- Driving while eating/drinking
- Driving while intoxicated
It would be neat to see these risk factors compared to one another on a graph. Has anyone seen such a thing?This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at RevolutionHealth.com.