Older Drivers – How Occupational Therapy Driver Assessment Can Assist in Fitness to Drive Decisions.
Keywords: Older Drivers/Users
Submission Date: 2011
While a person’s chronological age is not an absolute predictor of driving ability, however the impact of age related impairment should not be denied. Occupational Therapists have an understanding of medical conditions and associated impairments and are trained to analyse functional performance. Postgraduate specialisation in Driver Assessment further refines skills specifically to the driving environment. Using a combination of clinical screening tools and onroad assessment, the Driver Trained Occupational Therapist evaluates the impact of age related changes to further inform on safety in the driving environment. If required, programs may be developed to improve driving safety or alternatively create driving retirement plans. Whilst impairment can happen at any age, there is a general correlation with age. Most older people are perfectly capable of driving safely, however, many physical and mental changes that accompany ageing can diminish the capabilities of older drivers, including: – Sensory changes – Neurological changes – Physical strength, mobility and coordination – Medications – General health