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Problems of Forensic Sciences 2007  Vol. 70 (LXX)  125-134

Department of Analytical Chemistry, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland


The interest of forensic sciences in disturbances of human psychomotor abilities is associated with the high importance of such abilities in road, water and air traffic safety. From the standpoint of forensic toxicology, particular attention is paid to xenobiotics, which, when taken by individuals who drive motor vehicles (most frequently cars), may alter (depress) their psychomotor abilities and thus increase the threat to these individuals themselves and to other road users. In 2006, European Union member states reached an agreement on the (common) European driving licence. Annex III to the agreement lists the examinations to which an applicant for a driving licence must be subjected (also in the case of his licence being renewed), as well as diseases that disqualify an individual from driving motor vehicles. In addition to obvious conditions, such as severe mental diseases or mental retardation, the document also lists cardiovascular diseases, where a sudden failure of the system results in impairment of cerebral functions, which may lead to the individual constituting a threat to other traffic. Such diseases include, for example, arrhythmia or angina pectoris. Other contraindications are serious neurological conditions, such as progressive epilepsy, and in such instances, the issue of a driving licence depends on the licence category and the decision of a physician. In the literature on the subject, the most comprehensive body of information concerns the increased risk of traffic accidents in the case of drivers suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy. Opinions on the effect of diabetes mellitus are divided; the above mentioned document forbids the issuing of a professional driving licence to individuals with diabetes mellitus that requires insulin administration. A problem that continues to be underestimated in road safety issues is the interactions between medications that do not directly affect central nervous system functions, but result in development of symptoms that decrease the ability to control a motor vehicle and react appropriately while driving.

Słowa kluczowe

Psychomotor abilities; Diseases; Drug interactions.

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