Learn More About Safe Senior Driving

Many of us have concerns about remaining independent if we are unable to continue driving safely as we age or develop some types of disability that impacts driving. This can be a very challenging to think about and a difficult conversation to have with a family member or friend if we notice driving problems or tell tail signs of scrapes/dents on the car.

In California, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website provides helpful tips for safe driving, assessing your safety to continue driving, a list of mature driver training classes, and information on required driving tests at certain ages. Key materials on the DMV webpage include:

Required Physician Reporting to DMV

California law requires that physicians report people diagnosed with dementia, including Alzheimer’s, to the County Health Department. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is then notified. Based on an evaluation of the person with dementia, the DMV decides whether to suspend, revoke or restrict the person’s license. Contact your local DMV office for more information.

Other Local Resources

Area Agencies on Aging, in partnership with local Senior Centers and the California Automobile Association, often hold Older Adult Driver Safety events throughout the year. One very popular program is CarFit. Click Here to find a CarFit program in your area. You can also contact your local Area Agency on Aging to find other driving programs or alternative transportation resources.

American Occupational Therapy Association

Some area hospitals and the American Occupational Therapy Association offer driving evaluation programs that assess whether a person can continue to drive safely, particularly if they are recovering from surgery, a serious illness, and/or have an on-going disability.

These evaluation programs may require a physician’s referral and are usually offered by appointment only. Fees vary. The American Occupational Therapy Association website has a searchable list of occupational therapists who provide this type of evaluation and may also provide training to make a vehicle help improve driving safety.