Driving can be one of the most difficult issues families face as loved ones age. When they feel they are no longer safe behind the wheel, most people will self-restrict their driving as they get older. However, when someone’s driving skills decline due to an age-related condition and they refuse to voluntarily retire from driving, the family can turn to Hanshaw Geriatric Center for help.
The center only makes recommendations based on test results. It does not have the authority to revoke driver’s licenses.
Know the signs
Most older drivers still have adequate driving skills and excellent safe driving behavior. However, if someone you know has demonstrated any of the following “red flags,” it may be time to discuss retirement from driving.
- Multiple accidents or near misses, or a single serious accident that was his or her fault;
- Getting lost while driving;
- Vision problems;
- Driving in the wrong lane;
- Consistently driving too fast, too slow or too close to other traffic; or
- Numerous other behaviors that cause concern for other drivers or passengers
The assessment: What to expect
The assessment begins with a brief screening history and physical exam, including vision and hearing testing.
The remainder of the testing is conducted by an occupational therapist with special training in driving assessment. The therapist carefully checks muscle tone and strength, reflexes and driving knowledge. The test concludes with an evaluation of “reaction time” and other skills necessary for safe driving. On-the-road testing is not performed at our clinic; it is all completed in the office.
The full test takes about 90 minutes.