Fitness to drive in psychiatric patients; a review of the literature and consequences for daily practice
background A question that often arises in daily practice is whether a psychiatric patient should be considered as still fit to drive.
aim To describe the Dutch regulations concerning psychiatric patients’ fitness to drive and to evaluate the scientific basis of these regulations.
method Information about the current regulations was collected and summarised and the specialist literature was reviewed.
results The regulations in the Netherlands are rather strict and as a result persons with a psychiatric illness can sometimes have their driving license withdrawn for a long period. The literature that was reviewed reveals that there is much uncertainty concerning the relationship between psychiatric illness and its effects on fitness to drive.
conclusion The specialist literature indicates that some of the Dutch regulations are unfair and too rigid. In this article the consequences for daily practice are considered and a plea is made for more research and for laws and regulations that have a more solid basis.