APDA American Parkinson Disease Association
Information & Referral Center

Driving and PD

PD-specific Information

How Parkinson's Disease Affects Driving Ability

"Driving and Parkinson’s Disease: Balancing Independence and Safety"
Parkinson's Disease Foundation Expert Briefing, January 31, 2012.
This hour-long webinar peakers addresses driving and PD. Speakers include Margaret O’Connor, PhD, and Lissa Robins Kapust, LICSW, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA
Archived recording of webinar (must register to listen)

"Driving and Parkinson's"
Published by Parkinson's Disease Foundation, 2013. Reprinted from"PDF News & Review," Summer 2012.
This 2-page fact sheet reviews how PD affects driving, assessment options, and what family members and friends can do to help.

“Driving When You Have Parkinson’s Disease”
Published by the U.S. Department of Transportation, November 2003.
This 2-page information sheet highlights how Parkinson’s disease can affect driving, what you can do to maintain your driving skills as long as possible, and resources for how to get around when you don’t drive yourself.

"Facts about Driving and PD"
Published by VA Parkinson's Disease Research, Education, & Clinical Center (PADRECC) Bulletin, date unknown
One-page article has lots of tips for driving safety.

"My Parkinson's Story: Driving" 
Published by the Veteran's Administration
This 9-minute video alternates between an interview with a man and his wife and several specialists. The man and his wife share how he gave uphis driver's license due to Parkinson's symptoms and how he is adjusting. The specialists share how Parkinson's symptoms affect a person's ability to drive, and how driving and cognitive assessments can determine a person's fitness to drive.


California-specific Resources

Finding a Driving Rehabilitation Specialist - Northern California

List of driving rehabilitation specialists in Northern California
Compiled mostly from the national directories of driver rehabilitation specialists listed below.

Driving Safety Classes - Northern California

AARP Driver Safety Course
AARP offers older driver safety course for a fee -- either online or in-person in a classroom setting (use locator to find nearby class or, in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Les Schreiber). Note that successful completion of course may lead to lower auto insurance premium.

Age Well Drive Smart
The California Highway Patrol offers free, three-hour senior driver safety/mobility classes to educate drivers over 65. Register with your local CHP office or at various senior centers. To find your local CHP office, check your phone book (if you still have such a thing!) or use the "Find an Office" menu item on the CHP's website. When you call the local CHP office, ask for information on the "Age Well Drive Smart" classes nearby.

DMV and Assessment of Ability to Drive Safely - California

Anonymously Request Driver Re-examination with California DMV
There are times that the driver must be stopped from driving for his own or others’ safety. Anyone can make an anonymous report to California's DMV, using form DS 699.

Cognitive Functions and Ability to Drive Safely
Information from the California Department of Motor Vehicles and how cognitive impairment (including impairment caused by Parkinson's Disease) can negatively affect one's ability to drive safely.

DMV Senior Driver Ombudsman Program
This one-hour Family Caregiver Alliance webinar from June 2016 introduces the California DMV Senior Driver Ombudsman Program. Contact the ombudsman about referring someone for a driving safety re-examination or hearing. In the San Francisco Bay Area, the senior driver ombudsman is Rosemary Robles [rosemary.robles dmv.ca.gov], phone 510-563-8998. In the Sacramento area, the senior driver ombudsman is Jerrod Sieberg [jerrod.sieberg dmv.ca.gov], phone 916-657-6464.

National Resources

Self-Assessments of Driving Ability

Drivers 65 Plus Self-Rating Form
Published by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
After completing online, receive tips and suggestions for safer driving habits based on responses.

How Is Your Physical Fitness?
Published by National Highway Traffic Safety Organization.
Discusses effects of decreased physical fitness on driving.

Older Drive Safety and Transition -- for the Mature Driver
Published by National Center on Senior Transportation.

Roadwise Review
Published by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Free screening tool to help seniors measure mental and physical abilities important for safe driving. The review takes about 30 minutes and requires a partner to administer correctly.

Finding a Driving Rehabilitation Specialist

Note: private insurance, Medicaid and Medicare do not pay for driver evaluations. Possible sources for coverage include vocational rehabilitation programs, independent living programs, workers compensation benefit payments, or private pay.

Directory of Driver Rehabilitation Specialists
Published by Association for Driver Rehabilition Specialists.
Nationwide directory of ADRS members. Look for "Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialists" or "Driver Rehabilitation Specialists."

Directory of Occupational Therapists
Published by American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
Nationwide database of occupational therapists who self-report that they are driving specialists. Look for "clinical evaluation" or "in-vehicle evaluation."

Contact your local rehabilitation hospital's occupational therapy department for information on OTs who are driving specialists.

Maximize Safety on the Road

AAA Mature Driver Course
AAA offers mature driver safety course online for a fee. Note that successful completion of course may lead to lower auto insurance premium.

AARP Driver Safety Course
AARP offers older driver safety course for a fee -- either online or in-person in a classroom setting (use locator to find nearby class or, in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Les Schreiber [les996 me.com]). Note that successful completion of course may lead to lower auto insurance premium.

CarFit: Helping Mature Drivers Find Their Safest Fit
Find the right car and any aids needed for safe driving.

"On the Road: Keeping Driving Skills Sharp"
Published by NPF, date unknown
This one-page lists options to maintain optimal driving safety.

Transportation After Driving Retirement

AAA's List
List by state of supplemental transportation programs for those needing alternative transportation.

Eldercare Locator's Transportation Database
Searchable database of transportation alternatives. (topic=transportation)

Family Matters

Beyond Driving with Dignity; The Workbook for the Families of Older Drivers, by Matt Gurwell
114-page publication from 2010, available from Amazon. Designed to provide comprehensive steps for families to take as they evaluate an older adult’s driving abilities and work through issues of a successful driving retirement.

Crafting Caring Family Conversations with Older Drivers
Helpful online information from The Hartford

Driving Assessment for Seniors, by Connie Matthiessen
Published by Caring.com
8 ways to assess your parent’s (or anyone’s) driving.

How not to take the care keys and How to take the keys
How-to videos by Teepa Snow, OT

We Need to Talk: Conversations About Driving
Online seminar, produced by AARP, The Hartford, and MIT AgeLab
20-page booklet, published by AARP, 2015.

How MDs Assess a Person's Ability to Drive

Clinician's Guide to Assessing and Counseling Older Drivers
Published by AGS Geriatrics Healthcare Professionals and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Details best clinical practices in assessing an older driver’s ability to drive.

This information last updated September 2016 by Robin Riddle and Steven Russell [swrussell]. with Stanford's Parkinson's Community Outreach Program.

Footer Links: