Driving evaluation for seniors is designed to confirm the practical ability of an older adult to drive. It is often a requirement when DVLA is investigating the medical health of an elderly person. This assessment can also help to identify individuals that required adapted vehicle controls and the adaptation method that is most suitable for them.
What does the driving evaluation for seniors entail?
The goal of driving evaluation for seniors is to assess the cognitive and physical ability of an older person to drive a vehicle in comfort and safety. It also aims to provide advice on appropriate adaptations and aids that will help them in driving.
When a doctor doubts the practical ability of a senior to drive safely and comfortably, they may request a referral for an evaluation to assess the ability of the individual. A family member can also request that their senior go through the driving evaluation for seniors to know if they are fit to handle the wheels.
The assessment considers different areas of driving, which include medical fitness, awareness, decision-making, vision, reactions, and physical capability to operate the vehicle’s control.
Who are the candidates for driving evaluation for seniors?
Many seniors find it difficult to give up driving. According to a survey, about 90% of senior drivers said giving up driving or losing their driving license would be a major challenge for them. The good news is that being a senior does not mean you cannot handle the wheels, at least to some extent.
This is why the driving evaluation for seniors is a great way to measure your competence and ability to retain your use of vehicles. Irrespective of your age as a senior, some health conditions will require that you go for a driving evaluation for seniors to assess your practical ability to drive a vehicle. These health conditions include:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease
- Problems with vision or hearing
Any other health conditions that require medications that may affect your driving ability would also require that you go for a driving evaluation for seniors. These include sleeping pills, narcotics, and anti-anxiety drugs.
What should you expect during the driving evaluation for seniors?
When you have been profiled for a driving evaluation for seniors, you must know what to expect during the evaluation. Here are the five parts covered in the evaluation process:
- Eyesight Check: You will be asked to read a plate number that is placed at about twenty meters away. If you are unable to read the number plate, that will be the end of your test and it means that you would no longer be able to drive.
- Vehicle Safety Questions: During the test, you will be asked the ‘tell me’ and ‘show me’ questions. For instance, you may be asked “can you show me how you will operate the horn when it is safe to do so?” and “before starting your journey, tell me how you would check that the brakes are working?
- General Driving Ability: You will be required to drive through different traffic environments and roads. The examiner will give you the directions to follow. This test measures your ability to control the wheels, among others.
- Reverse your Vehicle: The driving evaluation for seniors also entails a section where you will be asked to park at the side of a road or pull up on the right-hand side of a road and reverse for about two car lengths.
- Independent Driving: This is the final part of the test and it lasts for twenty minutes. You will be asked to drive on your following traffic signs.