The natural process of aging can affect strength, flexibility, and decision-making processes. In some cases, aging can affect one’s ability to drive and increase the chances of injury in a Dallas car accident. In fact, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that drivers over age 75 are more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident than are younger drivers.
When families become concerned about a loved one’s driving ability, whether it is because of aging or a medical condition, a driver evaluation is an option. A driver evaluation measures reaction time, coordination, cognitive and perceptual skills, and the ability to maneuver a vehicle and respond safely in traffic.
But a driver evaluation isn’t solely about identifying drivers at risk of causing a Dallas car crash and getting those drivers off the road. The evaluation can also determine if there are adaptations or vehicle modifications that can be made to improve driving performance and keep a driver on the road. For example, a driver who has lost physical strength because of a stroke might drive better in a car equipped with a spinner knob, a left accelerator pedal, or a right crossover turn signal. This is important because adults are at a high risk for depression if giving up driving affects their independence.
Driver evaluations are appropriate for those with physical disabilities or impairments as well as those suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia.
In Dallas, driver evaluations are offered at both the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation and Integra Hospital Plano. At the Baylor program, drivers take a road test in a dual-controlled car. The Integra program uses a driving simulator. The driver must be referred by his or her personal physician. A report will be sent to the doctor after the test. The test may be covered by medical insurance.
Driver evaluations can reassure families that their loved one is safe on the road, or they can be a starting point for discussions about hanging up the keys. If a driver is found to be unsafe, his or her doctor is required to send an evaluation to the state.
What can you do if your loved one is injured in a Texas car accident? Request a free copy of Dallas car wreck lawyer Jeff Rasansky’s book, Biggest Mistakes Drivers Make After an Accident, or call Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-405-4313 to schedule a free legal consultation.