“The U.S Census Bureau has determined that by 2030, one in five drivers will be age 65 or older, which means there will be more than 30 million older drivers on our roads” (AAA, 2005). Statistics reveal older drivers have more traffic crashes and fatalities than all other age groups other than the youngest drivers (Higgins, 2003). Due to these facts driving safety is an important issue in the coming years. As a person ages their physical abilities are known to decline. DMV spokesman, Evan Nossoff, reported “After age 80, there is a sharp decline in driving ability, although many drivers continue driving safely.
Until legislative guidelines can be enacted to further address the issue of driving in the elderly, improvements can be undertaken to reduce the presence of unsafe elderly drivers on our roads. We (MSW students at California State University, Bakersfield), are striving to create an awareness among social workers regarding available DMV forms to report driving elders which are suspected to be unsafe and in need of a re-examination. The form is used by a person who is not a physician or a police officer to notify the DMV of a driver who has a possible medical or physical condition that can affect the safe operation of motor vehicles.
Through the provided website (http://www.dmv.org/publications.php) you click on your state of residence and search under “Find DMV Forms” to find the appropriate form for the state in which you practice. The form can also be accessed directly through your states DMV website.
As individuals who are passionate about our nation's elderly, we look forward to your powerful recognition concerning elderly driving. We strongly urge you to implement the form into your social work practice, and inform other social workers on how they can protect our roads and our elders.
California State University, Bakersfield
DMV Form for California: http://dmv.ca.gov/forms/ds/ds699.pdf
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