Knowledge of Driving Vehicle Licensing Agency guidelines among NHS doctors: A multicentre observational study

Ka Y Bonnie Ng (Lead Author), Jack Garnham, Usama M Syed, Ben L Green, Robert Watson, Nicholas D Gollop, Joseph Shalhoub, Mahiben Maruthappu

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Objectives: Over half of the UK population holds a driver's licence. The DVLA have produced guidelines to ensure drivers with medical conditions drive safely. Doctors should ensure that patients are given appropriate information and advice if they have a medical condition affecting their driving. We sought to evaluate doctors' knowledge of DVLA guidelines.
Design: A 25-point questionnaire was designed from DVLA guidelines (‘The DVLA Questionnaire’). Five questions were included for each of neurology, cardiology, drug and alcohol abuse, visual, and respiratory disorders.
Setting: Ealing Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital, Watford General Hospital, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust.
Participants: 140 UK doctors.
Main outcome measures: Questionnaire scores assessing knowledge of DVLA guidelines in five specialty areas.
Results: The median overall questionnaire score was 28%, interquartile range 20–36% and range 0–100% [Watford 28%, Leeds 30%, Norfolk and Norwich 36%, Ealing 30%, Northwick Park 28%]. There were no significant differences between the scores for each centre (p = 0.1332), Mean scores for specialty areas were: neurology 33.1%, standard deviation 22.1; cardiology 35.6%, standard deviation 26.9; drug and alcohol abuse 30.6%, standard deviation 23.8; visual disorders 33.9%, standard deviation 23.5 and respiratory disorders 20.3%, standard deviation 24.8; overall score 30.7%. There was no significant difference between the scores of the specialty areas (p = 0.4060).
Conclusions: Knowledge of DVLA guidelines in our cohort was low. There is a need for increased awareness among hospital doctors through focused education on driving restrictions for common medical conditions. Improving physician knowledge in this area may help optimise patient safety.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2054270415601586
JournalJRSM Open
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2015


  • DVLA
  • driving
  • guidelines
  • physician
  • knowledge

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