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Elderly Driver

Driving Safely and Confidently

Welcome | Elderly Driver

Who Wants to Give Up Their Car Keys? Not Elderly Drivers!

Elderly drivers don’t want to give up their car keys. They want, in fact, they need the independence and sense of control driving affords them.  I know this because that’s how I feel.

However, aging does bring with it the inevitable deterioration of skills, vision, cognition and mobility. How quickly the onset of this deterioration occurs and how severely it affects driving differ from one elderly driver to another.

Elderly DriverSlowing Down the Inevitable

While it may be inevitable, I certainly want to do every thing I can to slow down the deterioration of my driving performance and to operate an automobile for as many years as I am able. That’s what this website is all about. It will serve as a repository of what I learn and a means to share with you, my fellow elderly driver. Therefore, by providing information and tools, I hope to aid other elderly drivers (and their concerned family and friends) to understand, assess, and improve their driving performance in order help them drive safely, competently and confidently, for as long as possible

Elderly Driver Site Organization

This site is broadly organized under these areas:

  1. what are the challenges the elderly driver faces
  2. how to know where you stand as a driver
  3. how to keep driving even with deficiecies, and
  4. what alternatives to driving are feasible

In each of these areas the discussion will be structured, as applicable, from the perspective of driving skills, vision, cognition, mobility, road and environmental conditions.

Elderly Driver Performance Factors

In this website we hope to explore  the physical, cognitive, psychological, and even sociological factors that can affect the driving performance of an elderly driver

Assessing the Elderly Driver

We also will focus on how an elderly driver can come to a clear, realistic conclusion about his or her driving performance.  Tools will be provided to allow the elderly driver to do a self assessment that help him or her establish a baseline for on-going comparison of driving capability. To help the elderly driver draw proper conclusions about a self-assessment, resource materials will be available to show how physicians and other professionals assess the elderly driver for performance.

Improvement Strategies

We will provide a host of ideas and suggestions for an elderly driver to improve his or her driving performance and maintain optimal and safe performance.

Still More For the Elderly Driver

You will also find information from government and private organizations that are loaded with help in assessment and improvement of the elderly driver’s driving performance.  In addition, we have news about the elderly driver, including incident reports, alerts, new laws being proposed and ratified, and much more.

Finally, there is my blog where I will keep you informed about all matters related to the elderly driver. I hope you will read it regularly. In fact, to receive updates to the blog posts, you can either subscribe to receive them by  email or as a news feed.  See below to subscribe.

Staying in Touch with ElderlyDriver.org

Please don’t be a stranger. Come back to this site for updates to its other key sections.  Better yet, bookmark this site so that you can find it easily when you want to return.

Now, this site is still under construction and so many of the planned sections are weeks away from being available.

I want to encourage you to watch the following terrific video documentary, “Old People Driving.”  I think that if you are elderly driver, or a relative or a friend of one, you will find it both touching and illuminating.


Old People Driving from Doran Danoff on Vimeo.

12 Responses to Welcome | Elderly Driver

  1. RMAU says:

    Taken separately, none of these changes automatically means that elderly drivers should stop. But caregivers need to regularly evaluate the elderly person’s driving skills to determine if they need to alter driving habits or stop driving altogether.

  2. It is good to share your thoughts and express them. I just think it is important as an elderly driver to get retested for your license. I had an elderly hit a nurses car, come out with her four prong walk and say please don’t call the cops they will take away my license. They should have in this scenario, however it is not for everyone. A retest is important. I think it is great you have a site devoted to elderly driving. Keep it up because it is a thoughtful and good read.

    • Dan says:

      Karen – Thanks for your remarks. I agree that retesting is a reasonable approach. I assume, of course, you mean “road testing” and not mere written tests.

      I would also like to see protocols created and followed that not only re-test the elderly on the road, assessing for basic driving skills, but include a more specific geriatric assessment of targeted functional ability, such as: [1] Visual Acuity (Near and Far); [2] Visual Contrast Sensitivity; [3] Field of View; [4] Working Memory; [5] Directed Visual Search; [6] Visual (Divided) Attention Processing Speed; [7] Visualization of Missing Information; [8] Lower Limb Strength and Mobility; [9] Head-Neck Rotation

      In addition to this expanded testing, I would like to see elderly motorists undergo a combination of assessment strategies, including: friendly feedback (relatives and close acquaintances), medical/cognitive appraisals, third party evaluations and, yes, even periodic guided self-evaluations (written and on-line). These are all matters that I hope this website will be able to address in the future.

      We are currently working on completing the various sections of the site, as well as submitting fresh blog posts. Hope you will come back to the site and explore it more thoroughly and keep up with future blog posts.

      The Editor

  3. Vehicle tire says:

    Driving is not depend on age. It depends on eyes & well held.

  4. Edward says:

    The only measure scientifically proven to lower the rate of fatal crashes involving elderly drivers is forcing the seniors to appear at motor vehicle departments in person to renew their licenses.

    • Dan says:

      Hi Edward:

      Here are some thoughts about your comment. I take it that the logic of the “scientifically proven” measure you cite is that once they have been screened at their respective DMVs, potentially dangerous senior drivers will be identified and their driving privileges invalidated, thus removing them from the general motoring population. You may be right, but I still have some questions. First, what are your sources? Was the evidence used by your source(s) the result of multiple studies or just one? If your “proven” measure is merely a correlational statistic, how can we be sure that other factors correlate just as strongly and may, in fact, prove to be causal? Were there other factors contributing to the senior driver’s decision to quit driving, rather than a visit to their DMV, such as family pressures to stop driving or prohibitive costs of operating a vehicle on a fixed income. Are more elderly drivers already considering turning in their keys around the same time that most states and provinces require renewal of licences, with all the attendant tests?

      Incidentally, the evaluation criteria used by DMVs in the U.S. vary, both in factors assessed and the age when mandatory re-assessments are required. So, I would think, that a more illuminating statistic would be to assess the drop in elderly-caused crashes by state and by the type of assessment criteria used in that state. But that opens up a whole can of worms. Because, unless a road test is required, state DMV generally don’t assess elderly drivers for the following:

      1. Does the driver neglect to buckle up?
      2. Does the driver have difficulty working the pedals?
      3. Does the driver have difficulty merging on freeways, or turning onto busy streets?
      4. When merging or changing lanes, does the driver rely only on the mirrors, rather than turning fully to check the blind spots over his or her shoulder?
      5. Does the driver have trouble seeing other vehicles, cyclists, or pedestrians, especially at night?
      6. Does the driver seem to ignore or “miss” stop signs and other traffic signals?
      7. Does the driver react too slowly to sirens and flashing lights of emergency vehicles?
      8. Does the driver weave, straddle lanes, drift into other lanes, or change lanes without signaling?
      9. Does the driver position the car improperly for turns (especially left turns), or attempt turns from the wrong lane?
      10. Do other drivers honk or pass frequently, even when the traffic stream is moving relatively slowly?
      11. Does the driver tend to park extraordinarily far from his or her destination?
      12. Does the driver get lost or disoriented easily, even in familiar places?
      13. Do you find yourself giving directions or prompting the driver frequently?
      14. Has the driver been issued two or more traffic tickets or warnings in the past two years?
      15. Has the driver been involved in two or more collisions or “nearmisses” in the past two years? [If the DMV has that information, then they might be able to factor that into their consideration; but that is a big “if”.

      In addition, you mention the rate of fatal crashes, involving elderly drivers. Are you referring to fatalities of the elderly, the rest of the population, or both? If it is elderly fatalities, that can be easily attributed to the relative frailty of the elderly, resulting in not being able to withstand the trauma of a crash, not necessarily to their driving ability. Furthermore, the elderly in those statistics might be passengers or pedestrians, not drivers.

      Anyway those are just some thoughts when considering the so-called solutions for preventing elderly driver mishaps. I welcome your response.


  5. Driving is not all about how old and young is the driver, the most important is the discipline when we are on the road.

  6. Some believe that elderly drivers with diminished vision and hearing, as well as slower reflexes, pose a greater danger to society as a whole.

  7. Dan says:

    Hi Elderly Driver:

    I am looking forward to reading your posts and exploring the section of the site still underconstruction

  8. My spouse and I stumbled over here different web page and thought I may as well check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to going over your web page for a second time.

  9. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further post thank you once again.

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