Families, caregivers, and friends play a large role in an older adult's safety and mobility. Resources to help prepare families and caregivers to discuss safe driving concerns, including the process to reduce or stop driving, can be found here and also in the Coalition's Tips for Talking with Aging Drivers about Safe Driving Concerns brochure. To view or request a free copy of the brochure visit the Resource Center.
Research suggests that a dialog between older adults and families and friends can be an eﬀective way to address issues of aging and safe driving. In a survey of 7,200 adults aged 50 and older conducted by The Hartford and MIT AgeLab, more than half followed the suggestions made in conversations they had with their families about their driving.
Even when families and friends are willing to tackle these diﬃcult conversations, research shows they want more information to begin the discussion. Before starting a conversation, it is important for everyone involved to:
- Understand the impact that aging has on safe driving
- Learn the significance and impact that the loss of driving privileges could mean from their perspective
- Watch this “Learn How to Achieve Mobility Independence” brief webinar to learn more community resources and how to find local transportation options using FindaRideFlorida.org
- Read Florida’s Guide to Safe Mobility for Life and help them build a personal transportation plan that meets their needs
- Plan your script and be prepared to answer questions
This conversation can be difficult for everyone involved but is a very important one to have, before there is a crisis. With proper planning and compassion, it can be an effective conversation that benefits everyone.
Aging and Disability Resource Centers of Florida
The Department of Elder Affairs’ Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) of Florida are committed to helping individuals 60 years of age or older and those who care about them understand and navigate available services, agencies, and other options. Their goal is to help you ﬁnd the information, resources, and services you need to make informed decisions.
ADRCs are available in each county and help connect older adults and caregivers to a variety of issues and services including housing, home care, meals, and transportation. Contact your local ADRC on their website or call the Elder Helpline toll-free at 1-800-963-5337.
Driving is a very complex activity that requires a number of cognitive skills that naturally decline as we age. Sometimes this decline is a more serious issue that can create a concern for safe driving. See the Dementia page for concerns about memory and its effect on driving ability.
Reporting an Unsafe Driver
Under Florida law, any physician, person, or agency knowing of any licensed driver's or applicant’s mental or physical disability to drive is authorized to report this information to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). The FLHSMV provides a Medical Referral form for this purpose and requests the full name, date of birth, and address of the person being reported along with a description of the problem. Anyone reporting the driver must include their own contact information and sign the report. However, this contact information is not shared with anyone, including the driver being reported; it is only used when the report information needs to be clariﬁed. The reports are kept strictly conﬁdential and no civil or criminal action may be brought against the person who submits the information. The link to the Medical Referral Form on the FLHSMV website is below: