During a routine traffic stop, if an older driver is encountered, it is not expected for a law enforcement officer to diagnose any medical issues. However, you, a law enforcement officer, may need to be able to make a road-side cognitive or physical check to see if they need a referral or any additional assistance. These assessments are quick and help you best serve the individual and make a recommendation, if necessary, to help an older driver. We have provided tools in both paper format and tools that can be used on a smartphone.
- Driver Orientation Screen for Cognitive Impairment (DOSCI)
DOSCI is a short questionnaire that allows officers to screen for cognitive impairment. It is backed by research and able to be used in every state. This tool allows you to gauge the level of the situation when pulling over an older driver. Completing the DOSCI provides a scored outcome to indicate whether the individual should be referred.
- Printable card for your officer ticket book
- DOSCI Tool short training video (length 10:24)
- The DOSCI Phone App is available for free download. For directions on how to download the free DOSCI phone app, view this video.
- Additional information showing how the DOSCI tool was developed and tested as a roadside screening tool can be found at the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.
- Cognitive and Medical Assessment Tools
- Visual, cognitive, and physical skills affect driving ability and decline with increasing age. Older drivers often have difficulty seeing objects at dusk and in the evening. Judgment may become impaired, making them less able to react at higher speeds and take turns in front of oncoming traffic. Medical conditions such as arthritis or weakening muscles and joints can also make it challenging to safely operate a vehicle. The American Society on Aging (ASA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have developed a series of handouts designed for multiple conditions. These include cataracts, diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration, sleep apnea, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and arthritis.
- Identifying Cognitive Impairment or Medically At-Risk Drivers Reference Guide for Law Enforcement by Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.
- Maryland’s Red Flag tool and a video of their process of referring drivers to the DMV.