Doctors, either general practice or geriatricians, are increasingly being faced with the difficult task of determining an older driver’s ability to drive safely. Adult children may express concern to the physician, a spouse, or perhaps a police officer prompts the conversation.
Doctors have a reference for assessing and elder’s ability to drive safely. The American Medical Association published the Physician’s Guide to Assessing and Counseling Older Drivers, developed in cooperation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The introduction reads:
The information in this guide is provided to assist physicians in evaluating the ability of their older patients to operate motor vehicles safely as part of their everyday, personal activities. Evaluating the ability of patients to operate commercial vehicles or to function as professional drivers involves more stringent criteria and is beyond the scope of this publication.
This guide is not intended as a standard of medical care, nor should it be used as a substitute for physicians’ clinical judgment. Rather, this guide reflects the scientific literature and views of experts as of December 2009, and is provided for informational and educational purposes only.