Drive with confidence!
Please share these with your clients and family members and staff. It really helps us to make the connection between some of the changes we are seeing with clients and potential for how those changes may be impacting their safety with driving.
Driving Behavior Warning Signs by The Hartford
#1 Decreased confidence while driving
Have you noticed that your client appears more overwhelmed, more stressed, or they’ve mentioned their frustrations with driving in busier traffic? Their overall confidence while driving may be decreasing because they are having gradual cognitive changes. They may or may not be aware of them. Their families may or may notice them either. Many families are equally in denial of their loved one’s ability to safely drive. As an OT, if you really tune into your clients’ conversations, you may pick-up on subtle changes that may cause concern about someone’s driving abilities.
#2 Difficulty turning to see when backing-up
Many seniors have difficulty turning to see behind them. That is why trunk rotation and neck rotation exercises are so important to integrate in your therapy sessions. Rotation, along with general ROM and flexibility are important to keep up good driving skills. There is also adaptive equipment available at common auto parts stores. Extra wide mirrors and blind spot mirrors can buy people extra visibility and time to keep safe while driving.
#3 Riding the brake
This may not be something you would observe, but a family member may complain about it. People often are riding the brake without even knowing. That is because perhaps they have always driven with two feet. Now their attention and processing are delayed and they forget to take their foot off the brake. They are unaware they are doing this. This is a warning sign to look further into why this is actually happening.