Is the person I care one safe to drive?
If the person you are caring for has physical or cognitive difficulties, you may have concerns about their ability to drive. Should you be worried?
If your loved one is experiencing physical or cognitive difficulties, you may be wondering about his or her ability to drive a vehicle. First, let's clarify that ageing in itself is not a contraindication to driving a car. However, health status or certain medical conditions may result in incapacities likely to compromise the driver's safety and that of other people on the road.
If your loved one is experiencing physical or cognitive difficulties, here are some signs that driving safely might be difficult:
If you are worried about your loved one, don’t hesitate to talk to his or her doctor or a health professional such as an occupational therapist. These people can assess the situation and run screening tests if necessary.
In Quebec, it is mandatory to undergo a medical and vision assessment at 75 and at 80 years old, and then every two years after that. However, if a person is experiencing difficulties or incapacities likely to comprise his or her safety or that of others, certain health professionals may recommend that the SAAQ perform a driver fitness test using more in-depth assessments.
It is important to know that these assessments do not necessarily result in licence suspension. In many cases, the person may continue driving but with certain conditions, such as driving only during the daytime or not driving on the highway.
The subject of driving is a very delicate one and your loved one may not be very receptive to the idea of giving up this activity, which is often synonymous with freedom and independence.
Don't hesitate to talk about the situation with your friends, family and health professionals. For more information, visit the SAAQ website.
Need to talk?
Contact our Caregiver Support Helpline for counselling, information et referrals.
Every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Free of charge.