In 2015, a quarter of the population aged 16 or over reported a long-term limitation (more than 6 months) in their usual activities due to health problems (according to The health status of the population in France. Report 2017. DREES and France Health Public, 2017). This proportion is low among young people (less than 10 % among 16-24 year olds), and increases gradually with age (30 % among 55-64 year olds and 75 % among 85 or older).
Minimum standards of medical fitness to drive a motor vehicle are defined in the amended decree of 21 December 2005 and Directive 2006/126/EC provides for the evolution of the texts according to scientific and technical progress. Thus, new advances in addiction, vision, epilepsy, diabetes (hypoglycemia disorders), sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease are taken into account.
This chapter presents several factors that adversely affect driving ability. These include addictions, medications with altering side effects, drowsiness and hypovigilance. The factor of inattention is described in another chapter, because it is not related to health status ("mind wandering" or "thinking elsewhere", telephone use, radio or heating manipulation, etc.).
Lost of consciousness and fatigue are two parameters taken into account in road mortality. Among people over 50 years of age, these causes involve 38 % of drivers of passenger vehicles killed between 65 and 74 years of age and 31 % of those 75 years of age and over (2018-2020 data).