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Families & Caregivers

If there are doubts about someone’s ability to continue driving, family and caregivers can open the conversation with the driver.

Discussing concerns with an older driver may pose challenges because they have been driving for a long time, may have a good driving record, may not be aware of their current driving performance and most of all may have a fear of losing their driving independence. These feelings may result in a reluctance to be evaluated or tested.

When having a conversation with an older driver:

  • express your concerns and suggest an objective opinion from someone who specializes in assessing the ability to drive
  • emphasize not only the importance of driving but also the need to protect their safety, the safety of passengers as well as other road users
  • identify the risks of continued driving unsafely that include injuring the driver and others, damaging the vehicle and increased insurance rates.
  • provide an alternative to driving, often the cost of a vehicle, insurance, gas, and maintenance can offset the use of a taxi or driving service.
  • Encourage them to discuss driving with their family doctor

Here are a few driving behaviours that should be of concern:

  • Driving through red lights or ignoring other traffic signs
  • Stopping at green lights or other places where they don’t need to stop.
  • Not yielding to traffic or not taking their turn at stop signs.
  • Going too fast or too slow for conditions.
  • Having trouble maintaining lane position and/or straddling two lanes.
  • Not following proper lane-changing procedures or weaving in and out of lanes.
  • Getting lost or disoriented, even in familiar places.
  • Confusing the gas and brake pedals or having difficulty working them,
  • Other drivers honk and pass frequently,
  • The driver’s car has new scratches and dents, or other damage.

Online Evaluation

The Fitness-to-Drive Screening Measure (FTDS) is an online tool that takes 20 minutes to complete. Caregivers, who have observed the driver in the last three months, can rate drivers’ abilities on 54 items

The Fitness-to-Drive Screening (FTDS) Measure was created by researchers at the University of Florida and further developed by researchers at the University of Western Ontario for caregivers and/or family members, friends of older drivers and occupational therapy practitioners (OT) to identify at-risk older drivers. After completing the questionnaire, a rating profile, of the driver is provided which includes the classification of the driver into one of three categories at-risk driver (safety concerns needing immediate attention), routine driver (early signs needing intervention), or accomplished driver (driving is acceptable). Based on the specific driver category, suggestions for follow up steps are provided.

Please make sure to save or print the rating profile and bring it with you when you come to your first appointment.

To view the User manual go HERE

Fill out the Fitness-to-Drive questionnaire 

Save the recommendations and bring them with you when you come to our office to discuss a more detailed evaluation and possibly driver training. To set up an appointment, please go HERE