• Highway Safety: The Occupational Therapist’s Role with Older Drivers

    Posted on April 15, 2013 by in Featured

    Highway safety is important for older drivers.  Occupational Therapists (OTs) can play an important role in keeping older drivers safe on the roads and highways.  An OT trained in driver evaluation and rehabilitation can evaluate an older adult’s driving ability by testing their endurance, strength, judgment, reaction time and vision.  OTs can recommend driving strategies or adaptive equipment that improve the older adult’s driving abilities.  They can also identify other means to allow them to get around independently and safely.


    Things OTs can do to help older drives keep safe:

    • Evaluate driver and determine if they have visual, cognitive, and/or physical impairments that can affect their driving ability
    • Perform an on-the-road driving test to determine how identified problems impact driving ability
    • Train older adults in techniques that improve driving safety
    • Train older adults to use equipment that allows them to continue to drive safely Recommend adaptive equipment
    • Help identify alternate forms of transportation if older adults are no longer able to  drive
    • Help the older adult who is no longer able to drive identify non-driving activities that are meaningful to them

    Resource:  Keeping Older Adults Safe