How Screening and Assessments Benefit all of ChORUS Audiences

A son and his older father on the computer.

Do you wonder how older drivers can improve safety on the road? Screening and assessments for older drivers are among the first steps in discovering any problems with older drivers and changes that can be made to improve safety.

Formal screenings and assessments need to be performed by a driver rehabilitation specialist to help determine driving fitness and options for improving safety. ChORUS provides screening and assessments for several unique audiences: Family members and caregivers, older drivers, state driver licensing agencies, medical professionals, and law enforcement professionals.

The ChORUS Older Driver Planning Tool is a tool for all older drivers and those who work with older drivers. This tool is 13 yes/no questions designed to take 2 minutes for an older driver (or an individual working with an older driver). The results of the tool create a personalized suggestion list to improve driving fitness. Each suggestion has vetted facts and figures surrounding it and a resource on the ChORUS website to provide further context. The tool also gives a suggested re-test date, so the older driver may re-check their skills.

CarFit is a program developed by AAA, AARP, and The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). If you are an older driver enrolled in CarFit, you will meet a team of volunteers who have been trained in specializing in making your vehicle “fit” you. The volunteers are also trained to show older drivers how to use safety features in their vehicles.

While assessments are not the sole indicator of fitness to drive, they may prompt the driver to be more open to a conversation with family members. Family members and caregivers can work with the older driver to complete a self-screening or assessment before talking to a driver rehabilitation specialist to help determine driving fitness and options for improving safety. ChORUS has driver assessments and evaluations that family members and caregivers can use to help the older driver plan for their future.

State driver licensing agency employees may notice some behavior and indications that older drivers need further assistance. These may include confusion, difficulty following directions, and unsteadiness. In situations where the state driver licensing agency employee notices these indications, they can provide the older drivers with screenings and assessments to help them identify problems and plan for their transportation future. State driver licensing agency employees may also find inspiration for screening and assessments for older drivers from other states’ older driver policies.

During a traffic contact with an older driver, law enforcement professionals are not expected to diagnose medical issues. A law enforcement professional may need to judge the driver’s cognitive or physical abilities to determine the need for a licensing referral or additional assistance. ChORUS has gathered several assessment tools to help law enforcement professionals during traffic contact.

Medical professionals have several issues to consider when evaluating an older patient. One issue that touches several facets of safety is older driver concerns. Starting early may make it easier for certain patients to plan for their future transportation. Integrating transportation planning into office visits may include medical professionals using screening and assessment tools to evaluate driving fitness. A medical professional can also encourage an older driver to take screenings and assessments at home, to get them to start thinking about what type of transportation options are available in their future. Older drivers have options when it comes to their transportation future. Informal self-screening and assessments can help the individual notice any medical conditions or age-related changes that can impact driving fitness. Once assessments are completed, older drivers can plan for the transportation future. Plans may include alternative transportation in their community or safety vehicle features on newer vehicles.

Formal assessments are conducted by driving rehabilitation specialists. Older drivers can take the first steps of improving options for safety by taking a self-assessment to privately learn where driving fitness can be improved and then taking a formal assessment with a driving rehabilitation specialist to learn what actions can be taken for a transportation future.