It is an undeniable fact that most people slow down as they age. It is also a fact that good motor functions are necessary for comfortable and safe driving. Your body's strength, flexibility, reflexes, and coordination must all be working together when you drive your vehicle.
Driver fitness is your ability to safely drive your vehicle. Driver fitness can be different for different people. Persons with physical handicaps due to age and/or physical ailments can and do drive safely and successfully. If you experience difficulties, maybe modifications and/or the additions of special equipment to your vehicle can help.
If you are not sure you are still up to the physical challenges of driving, check with your primary care physician. He/she can assist you and/or put you in contact with occupational therapists, physical therapists, or driver rehabilitation specialists who can put you back in the driver's seat or keep you there.
Role of Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy practitioners trained in driving rehabilitation understand the critical demands of driving and how our ability to move about our community affects the quality of our lives. These occupational therapy practitioners have the skills to evaluate an individual's overall ability to operate a vehicle safely.
Occupational therapy practitioners have the science-based knowledge to understand progressive conditions and life changes that can affect driving. Because occupational therapy practitioners take the time to understand the role that driving plays in your life, they are able to help individuals make the transition from driving to using other forms of transportation that offer the services and features they require to maintain safe community mobility. In doing so, they help people maintain their autonomy, independence, and sense of worth.