Each year, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) promotes lifelong safe, independent mobility during the first week of December. Designated as Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, this program calls attention to the myriad steps older Americans can take to extend their years of safe driving ability, and provides an opportunity to showcase the newest research and resources available on this vital topic. AOTA promotes the importance of mobility and transportation to ensuring older adults remain active and safe in the community. Throughout the week, AOTA focuses attention on a different aspect of older driver safety: https://www.aota.org/Conference-Events/Older-Driver-Safety-Awareness-Week.aspx.
For example, this year consumers can explore non-diagnostic web-based tools which can be used by caregivers and/or family members, friends of the driver, or the driver to assist with identifying driving difficulty and next steps. The Interactive Driving Safety Questionnaire is quick and was developed by the American Geriatric Society with NHTSA funding. A more extensive tool, Fitness to Drive Screening, was developed by the University of Florida and tested for validity. Results of either can be printed and shared with one's health care provider.
Medical Professionals may consider exploring the updated Clinician’s Guide to Assessing and Counseling Older Drivers and the Medscape Courses sponsored by NHTSA, Driver Safety: The Clinicians’ Connection to access free courses about driving safety and older patients. CME/CEUs are available.
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Older Driver Safety Awareness Week is supported by the US Department of Transportation. Click here to learn more.