How's my Driving?

May 2, 2023 | Andrea Cuc | @AndreaCuc

Do you need to refresh your driving skills?  It may not be a bad idea, and it could save you some money on auto insurance cost as well as legal fees if you get into an accident.  Be proactive and don’t wait for an accident or ticket to occur before you take a driving refresher course, or get your driving evaluated. Here are some options you can check out!

AARP(American Association of Retired Persons) Defensive Driving Course:

AARP Smart Driver Course” is a driver safety course designed especially for drivers age 50 and older.  Click on the link to learn more about it and to find a course near you.  They also have online courses. When you take this course you can be eligible for a multi-year discount on your auto insurance.

AARP also offers “Smart DriverTek” in-person and virtual workshops to learn about how new vehicle technology, such as warnings for blind spot, lane departure, and break assist, can make driving safer and easier.

Adult Driver Education and Assessment:

Please check out your local resources for adult driving education refresher courses (such as AARP Smart Driver Course listed above), as well as driving assessment courses.  Driving refresher courses help you stay up to date on latest driving rules and regulations.

Driving assessment course can help evaluate your individual driving, which includes your visual, cognitive, and reaction abilities. Assessment are performed in-person while driving, or utilizing state of the art simulators. The evaluator then gives feedback and makes recommendations based on this assessment. The evaluator may suggest no restrictions to your driving, some restrictions to your driving (and tell you what that is), or recommend no driving/stop driving.  The evaluator can also make recommendations on safety features that can be added to your car and/or suggest changes your driving habits etc., so that you can continue to drive safely for as long as possible. One way to find a local driving assessment would be your local AAA club, or discuss with your Neurologist. Your Neurologist may be able to refer you to an occupational therapist with expertise in driving skill evaluation.


1). How’s your vision at night, or in areas where the lights are dimmer?

Driving on the freeway at night may be too difficult; however, you may still be able to successfully drive on familiar roads during the day.

2). How’s your ability to judge distance or turn your head to check your car’s blind spot?  Perhaps cars with break assist, cars with lane change alerts, and extra blind spot mirror on your side mirror, can also help you drive safer?

Some local driving schools also offer driving simulation labs for hands on training in a car simulator, so you can practice before you get on the road.  Do you know what to do if you are in a situation with a wrong way driver heading towards you?  Or would you know what to do if you are driving in a busy city with heavy pedestrian foot traffic, on icy roads, or in a dust storm etc.

We know that driving is an important contributor to independence, so we do not restrict driving priviledges lightly!  We want to encourage you to be proactive with driving assessment because safety doesn’t happen by accident.

Have you ever completed a driving evaluation?  Or have you stopped driving and had to make some changes? If so, tell us how you've been meeting your needs as much as possible without being able to drive.

Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) blog.

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