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Keeping Aging Drivers Driving Safely

Driving instructor and student driver

Families and friends of aging drivers will find the information and resources to help keep their loved ones safe on the road. Topics such as driving self-assessments for aging drivers, health concerns, and the process for confidentially referring a driver for a driver reexamination are discussed here.

    • Michigan's Guide for Aging Drivers and Their Families

      This guide is a resource for Michigan's aging drivers, their family members, and caregivers, helping them to understand how aging and age-related changes in health status affect the ability to drive safely. It also provides references to additional information and services.


    • Michigan's Driver License Requirements

      This is a link to the requirements for a Michigan Driver's License. All motorists must have a valid driver's license to drive on Michigan's public roads. They are issued for up to four years and expire on the driver's birthday.

    • AARP Smart DriverTEK Workshop

      A free 90 minute workshop to learn all about the latest high-tech safety features in your current car, or what technology to look for when shopping for a new car. The safety benefits of blind spot warning systems, forward collision warnings and more.


    • Driving Decisions Workbook

      This workbook will help drivers learn about age-related changes in abilities and habits that could affect safe driving. After individuals respond to questions about themselves, feedback is provided about what various changes may mean for driving and what can be done to increase safety.

    • Fitness-to-Drive Screening Measure Online

      A web-based tool for caregivers and/or family members of older drivers and occupational therapy practitioners (OT) to identify at-risk older drivers. Caregivers and/or family members who have driven with the driver in the last three months, can rate a driver's difficulties with 54 driving skills. through this on-line screening. Based on the specific driver category, recommendations are given as follow-up steps.


    • Disability License Plates and Parking

      The site provides information about the eligibility requirements for Michigan disability license plates and both permanent and temporary disability parking placards. Links are provided to application forms and an informational brochure.


    The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED) Disabilities and Driving Fact Sheets

    Arthritis Amputation
    Aging Cerebral Palsy
    Alzheimer's Novice Drivers with Disabilities
    Multiple Sclerosis Non-Verbal Learning Disability
    Parkinson's Stroke
    Spinal Cord Injury Spina Bifida
    Traumatic Brain Injury Vision


    NHTSA Fact Sheets and Videos: Driving when you have...

    Alzheimer’s PDF Video
    Arthritis PDF Video
    Cataracts PDF
    Diabetes PDF Video
    Glaucoma PDF
    Parkinson's Video
    Vision Disorders Video

    • CDC Medicine Risk Fact Sheet 

      Prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines (OTC), dietary supplements, and even some herbal products can cause side effects that increase your risk of a fall or motor vehicle crash. Use this fact sheet, from the CDC, to identify medicines that put you at risk, potential side effects, and questions to ask your doctor.


  • Advanced Driver Assistance (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
    This website provides brief descriptions of several types of ADAS technologies and includes statements about the potential of ADAS technologies in reducing crashes. The topics include:

    Advanced Driver Assistance Technology for Older Driver Safety (AAA)
    This pamphlet, published by AAA, is designed to help older adults extend their safe driving by providing explanations of several issues related to the use of ADAS technologies. The pamphlet covers: benefits of ADAS technology; recommendations for the best ADAS technologies for older drivers; and what to ask car dealers about when purchasing a new vehicle with ADAS technology.

    Crash Avoidance Technologies YouTube Playlist (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
    This resource contains several short (1 minute or less) videos that explain how the following ADAS technologies work and how to use them: adaptive cruise control; adaptive headlights; blind spot detection; front crash prevention; lane departure warning and prevention; park assist and back-over protection; and blind-spot detection. There are also short videos that demonstrate the Cadillac XT5 without and with rear autobrake and the effectiveness of lane departure warning systems.

    Driver Assistance Technologies (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
    This website, developed by the federal government, provides several resources about ADAS technologies. These include a short video that explains how several ADAS technologies work. There are animated descriptions on 14 types of ADAS technologies. You can also search a database to find available ADAS technologies that were offered for a particular vehicle's make, model, and year.

    In The Driver’s Seat: A Guide to Vehicle Safety Technology (The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence)
    This resource provides brief discussions on several topics related to ADAS and older drivers including: the potential safety benefits; the top ten ADAS technologies for older drivers; reasons why learning more about vehicle safety is important for older drivers; a vehicle ADAS technology checklist for older adults to bring with them when they are shopping for a new car or driving one that they have borrowed or rented; and resources for learning to use ADAS technologies.

    In-Vehicle Technology (Florida DOT)
    This website, developed by the Florida Department of Transportation’s Safe Mobility for Life initiative, contains a quick reference guide on how the following ADAS technologies operate and advice on how to use them: back-up cameras; back-up warnings; forward collision warning; automatic emergency braking; blind spot warning; lane departure warning and lane keeping assist; drowsiness alert; adaptive cruise control; adaptive headlights; and navigation help.

    MyCarDoesWhat? (National Safety Council)
    This resource provides a comprehensive overview of 27 advanced vehicle technologies, including ADAS technologies. For each technology, the interactive website provides a variety of easy-to-understand details including: what the technology can and cannot do; a quick graphical and video guide for what is most important to know about the technology; information on how the technology works (what it does; the technology behind it; what you need to do; and tips for using it); common questions and answers about the technology; and resources for more detailed information. The website also includes a welcome video and sections where you can get more detailed information about technology, hear about the future of transportation technology, and read current news articles about ADAS technologies.

    Smart DriverTEK Workshop (AARP)
    This is a 90-minute, online or in-person, workshop to learn more about ADAS technologies and how they can keep older adults driving safely for longer. Topics in the course include: forward collision warnings; automatic electronic braking; adaptive cruise control; reverse safety (backing up) technologies; blind spot warnings; lane departure warnings; drowsy driver alerts; additional technologies (e.g., heads up displays) other featured technologies (smart headlights); limitation of technologies; and a discussion of the future of transportation. This course is free but requires registration.

    Driver Safety Videos (AARP)
    This series of videos provides brief explanations about how to use the following ADAS technologies as well as how they work: smart headlights; reverse monitoring (backing up) systems; blind spot warning systems; drowsy driver alerts; lane departure warning systems; crash mitigation systems; assistive parking systems; emergency response systems; voice activated systems; and stability control systems. Viewing these videos is free.

    Recommended ADAS Technologies for Older Drivers (University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute)
    Researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) have developed a list of several technologies that they consider to be the best for enhancing the safe mobility of older drivers and drivers of all ages. Based on analyses of research articles about older adults and ADAS technology use, UMTRI’s own work on this topic, and expert opinions, the recommendation are based on three criteria issues:

    • Potential to help overcome declines in abilities that may occur when people age.
    • Ease of understanding and use.
    • Potential to prevent crashes.

    The report describes 12 technologies that are recommended for older drivers along with live links to learn more about these technologies.

    Declining Functional Abilities and Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) Technologies (University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute)
    As people age, they are more likely to experience declines in vision, movement, and thinking abilities (known as functional abilities) that are needed for safe driving. Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technologies may help people maintain safe driving for longer even when faced with declining functional abilities. There is little information, however, about which ADAS can be most useful for specific functional ability declines. Researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) have developed a table that provides recommended ADAS technologies based on declines in 28 functional abilities.

    Maintaining Safe Driving: Relating Declines in Critical Driving Skills to Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) Technologies (University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute)
    As people age and begin to experience health conditions and take medication for these conditions, the driving skills that are needed for safe driving may also decline. Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technologies may help some drivers who are experiencing declines in driving abilities continue to drive safely. Researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute have developed a table that provides recommended ADAS technologies for those who are experiencing increasing difficulties in performing certain critical driving skills. The names of each ADAS are active links that can be clicked to obtain further information about the technology.