As we age our sensory organs begin to deteriorate.
Vision clarity lessens, hearing is less acute and reaction time slows. This is associated with a well known increase in driving risk with aging. Patients with movement disorders are further challenged by a loss of
motor coordination and are often on medications that can contribute to sleepiness and clouding of clarity and speed of thinking. This all leads to a loss of the ability to react with accurate and quick motor
responses required when unexpected events occur while driving.
Patients never want to lose the independence that
driving allows but many appropriately stop driving based on their own observations as well as advice from family and friend. Guidelines for reporting vary in all provinces and territories in Canada. Mandatory
driving testing is required in some provinces after certain ages. Physicians are responsible for monitoring as well advising patients when their health condition is thought to be problematic enough to interfere with
their safety driving.
The goal of treatment is to maintain the patient's
ability to drive for as long as possible but also to ensure that the patient, their passengers and others on the road are kept safe. All of us need to make sure we are not putting ourselves into a situation where we
must live with the consequences of being the cause of harm to others.
Below are links to some web resources providing additional information regarding driving.