Since my partner was hit and killed in 2015 by an unfit elderly driver, I’ve been on a mission to increase awareness of the importance of fitness to drive assessments by health professionals.
My YouTube video on assessing fitness to drive has not exactly gone viral but it does have over 6800 views, steadily building over time, being passed from one person to another. Actually, it has gone “viral” in that respect , but more like herpes than Ebola! And like herpes, I hope the message sticks with those who watch it, quietly sitting in the background and then making its presence known now and then, such as when they have to do a driving assessment on an elderly driver. I’m not sure that the phrase “I’d rather be herpes than Ebola” will ever take off, but it works for me.
I’m very grateful for the opportunities afforded to me to speak in person at educational sessions, especially sessions run by GP regional training organisations including GP Synergy, EV GP Training, Murray City Country Coast GP Training and Generalist Medical Training.
I was particularly delighted to be a guest on the wonderful GP Show podcast with Sam Manger, on which I shared practical tips for GPs on how to approach driving fitness.
I was also interviewed on the RACP’s Pomegranate podcast series:
Nothing can bring the love of my life back. But if sharing our story indirectly results in one fewer person being injured by an unfit driver, at least some good has come out of this senseless tragedy.
Dr Viktor Frankl an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who survived the Holocaust, expoused the importance of finding meaning in terrible circumstances. He said “In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning.”
Much as putting our story out there has been hard, knowing that it could possibly save someone else’s loved one has made it worthwhile. And I’m so grateful to the many doctors who have told me that it has changed the way they approach fitness to drive assessments.
Remember, driving is a privilege, not a right.