Dwan with car

Back to Driving School

Driving represents:

  • Freedom.
  • Control.
  • Competence.

Today, driving is a necessity of life. The thought of losing one's license after a lifetime of driving can be devastating.

In Your Turn to Care's first episode, The Talk, we meet Dwan Leidig, who gets a professional assessment by occupational therapist, Purnima Karia. The assessment includes both a cognitive evaluation and a behind the wheel test to determine whether or not Dwan is capable of driving safely.

Here is more about what an occupational therapist does, offered by the California DMV:

"During an in-office evaluation, the occupational therapist will test:

  • Reaction time needed for stopping fast enough to avoid a crash.
  • Visual acuity or sharpness of vision.
  • Decision making needed for handling turns or in planning your driving trip.

The behind-the-wheel or road evaluation identifies:

  • A driver's strengths, weaknesses.
  • Ways to keep you driving safely.
  • The need for adaptive equipment, such as a wide angle mirror, a seat cushion and hand controls.

Based on the results of the evaluation, an occupational therapist can make recommendations regarding driving strategies, specialized equipment, and training to improve your overall health, well-being, and driving safety. The goal is to help you continue to drive safely for as long as possible."

Click here to watch Dwan's driving test with Purnima.

To find an occupational therapist specializing in driving rehabilitation, contact the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.: www.aota.org.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Your Turn To Care has compiled information from the DMV, AARP, AAA and others to help you learn:

  • How do I get my driving assessed?
  • What is a restricted license?
  • Where can I take driver's Education classes?

We spoke at length to California DMV Senior Ombudsmen, Richard Kohr, who discusses the warning signs of senior driving safety and provides alternatives to taking the keys away. He also explains that to remain on the road as long as possible, there are Driver's Education classes designed just for the elderly to help them brush up on their driving skills. These classes:

  • Review traffic laws
  • Review safe driving practices
  • Assist in getting an insurance discount for a three-year period
  • Help students actually drive more safely

Click here to listen to Richard Kohr

For further information regarding senior driving evaluations go to thehartford.com.

The Automobile Club of America offers a self-assessment checklist (download pdf) and information on senior driving at seniordrivers.org.

AARP offers a number of resources, including an online course, a quick quiz to see how smart a driver you are, and help finding a driver's education course near you.

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Funders
MetLife Foundation The Lippey Family Trust Gladyce L. Foster
California Community Foundation