(Snippets from the frontline)
Safe Senior Driving
Ever find yourself behind a slow car, and as you pass notice the gray haired driver tightly gripping the wheel while staring and leaning forward?
These are seniors trying to remain independent while maintaining their quality of life, but is it safe for them to drive? The Department of Motor Vehicles makes the final decision, but doctors have been put in the middle of this evaluation. Why? Physicians don’t have this expertise nor training.
As suggested by many doctors, have a driver simulator make this evaluation. They use it for airline and military pilots; at amusement parks; for golf; and now in surgical training. Figure out the cost, and set them up.
These simulators would let a driver start the “car,” then simultaneously test their vision and reflexes quantifying the ability to safely drive. If you get enough points, you pass!
Until then, take advantage of local bus or train transportation; senior center free taxi vouchers; carpooling; Uber of Lyft; or just wait for the autonomous (computerized) car to come to market.
And maybe when they have a simulator, it will be available at Disneyland so you can get there early for the test, and then enjoy the rest of the day.
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.