The older population is the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. Persons over 65 comprised 13% of the total population in 2000, and this number is expected to increase to 20% by 2030.
In the United States today, there are about 38 million licensed drivers over age 65, and by 2024, one in four drivers will be aged 65+.
Many Americans have not planned for “retirement-from-driving”. Without support, many of these older people who can no longer drive may also lose their ability to live independently in the community.
Here at the University of Florida National Older Driver Research and Training Center, we are helping older persons maintain their safe driving ability for as long as possible, and for those who can no longer drive, we provide counseling in approaches to maintain active community mobility.
Key Aspects of Our Work
- Service program offering assessment of driving skills
- Referral to health professionals to improve driving ability
- Counseling and training in the use of alternative transportation and services to allow former drivers to continue to live independently in the community.
- Determine reliability of clinically-based tests to predict a person's behind-the-wheel abilities/performance
- Establish a referral and remediation approach for those people who could be safe drivers after remediation. Remediation includes such things as getting new glasses, installing adaptive equipment, and advanced technology in the vehicle such as the use of Smart Phone Technology and on-board sensors to track problem driving behaviors and provide feedback to the driver and others as appropriate.(i.e., family, law enforcement).
- For those who cannot continue driving safely, counseling is provided, which includes psychological counseling, as this may be a major life event. Education regarding savings from no longer owning a car, and the use of alternatives to the car and alternative services is also offered through NODRTC.
- In conjunction with the American Occupational Therapy Association, develop a model training program and field-work site for therapists to learn the skills necessary for working with older drivers.