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Is there a test that can determine if someone is a safe driver?

This answer is based on a publication and research conducted by The Hartford and MIT AgeLab:

There is no single, simple test to determine if someone is a safe driver. However, there are tests for cognition, reflexes, vision, flexibility and visual attention -- all critical skills for driving. A doctor may refer the driver to a qualified occupational therapist for a comprehensive driving evaluation. These tests may last several hours and often include a road test with an evaluator present.

Administered by rehabilitation centers, hospitals and Veterans Administration Medical Centers, these tests generally average from $200 to $500 and are seldom covered by insurance or Medicare. The Veterans Administration may offer free tests for eligible veterans.

A comprehensive driving evaluation may seem threatening to an older driver. However, this type of evaluation will take many factors into consideration, and not just determine whether the driver is safe to drive at the time of the evaluation. A comprehensive driving evaluation is a process by which a trained occupational therapist can also help the
driver understand how to drive more safely and whether or not specific equipment is needed to ensure safe driving.

Drivers who participate in an evaluation will receive recommendations on improving skills, avoiding certain driving situations, useful equipment (e.g., wide range mirrors, pedal extensions) and perhaps a recommendation to return in the future for another evaluation, if necessary. The results are shared with the driver and possibly with the driver’s physician, if requested.  

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.