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Aging and Driving

As we all age, changes occur in physical functioning, vision, perception, and processing abilities that could make driving unsafe. While changes are inevitable, they occur at different rates in each individual, and age alone is not a good indicator of driving skills. Most often these changes occur slowly over a long period of time, and the individual is able to compensate for minor deficits. If several skill areas are affected, or there is a sudden change in abilities due to illness or disease, driving may become impaired. An evaluation is recommended if you, or those who drive with you, notice any of the following warning signs.

Warning Signs:

•Doesn't observe signs, signals, or other traffic
•Needs help or instructions from passengers
•Slow or poor decisions
•Easily frustrated or confused
•Frequently gets lost, even in familiar areas
•Inappropriate driving speeds (too fast or too slow)
•Poor road position, or wide turns
•Accidents or near misses

A driver rehabilitation specialist can provide a comprehensive evaluation and make recommendations regarding driving. This assessment should include:

•A review of medical history and medications
•Functional ability
•Reaction time
•Behind-the-wheel evaluation

If you or those that drive with you notice any of the above warning signs and need a driving evaluation. Give us a call at 508-697-6006 and we can, help you with with knowledge about medical conditions, and help with a comprehensive evaluation and determine your ability to drive.

Impact on Driving/Transportation

•A modified vehicle, wheelchair lift or transfer seat may be needed for a person who now requires a scooter or wheelchair for mobility or has difficulty transferring into an unmodified vehicle.
•If continuing to drive is a goal and there are concerns due to a change in functional ability, the onset of disease, accidents or traffic violations, a driving evaluation should be completed to determine if the person has the cognitive, visual, perceptual and physical ability to continue driving. (
•This evaluation would also determine if adaptive driving equipment or vehicle modifications would benefit the individual.

Possible Vehicle Equipment Needs

•Wheelchair or scooter stowage lift
Transfer seat
•Lowered floor minivan or full size van with a lift
•Adaptive driving equipment may allow the person to compensate for an impaired ability to reach or operate primary and secondary driving controls