5 Practices for Protecting Aging Drivers
- Develop a written Vehicle Safety Policy – Today, most insurance companies require organizations that provide vehicles to their associates to have written safety policies. The purpose of having these policies in place is threefold. First, a written policy clearly communicates your organization’s commitment to driver safety. Second, communicating these policies to all drivers will raise awareness around safe driving practices, and lastly, having these policies in place helps drivers be more accountable for maintaining vehicles properly and following safe driving practices.
- Implement Driver Safety Courses – Work with your Fleet Manager to develop mandatory driving safety courses that provide both classroom education and behind-the-wheel practice time. This is a good opportunity to complete a thorough assessment of each driver’s current level of knowledge and skill, and will help to identify those drivers who may need special assistance, as well as drivers who perhaps should not be driving at all.
- Be proactive with “at risk” drivers – It’s important to know which of your drivers might be driving unsafely today! Specific measures should be implemented to identify drivers who are taking certain medications, or who have chronic illness or injury that might cause impaired judgment or reaction time. Drivers who are found to be at-fault in an accident should be required to complete a formal evaluation to include a road test, eye exam, and in some cases, a complete medical exam requiring a physician’s clearance for the driver to continue driving. Much can be done to support “at risk” drivers and keep them safe. Setting limitation such as driving only in the daytime, avoiding rush hour driving, limiting the distance a driver may travel, teaching drivers how to self-evaluate, and requiring semi-annual drive evaluations are a few good safety practices to consider.
- Take away the keys – This is always the last resort and never easy to do, but the reality is that each of us will eventually reach a point in our lives when we simply must stop driving. It’s important to have fair and objective criteria for making this decision as well as a kind and thoughtful process that helps to protect the driver’s personal dignity. At this stage, some drivers are understanding and cooperative, and others can become very frustrated and stubborn, so it’s essential to be prepared for both scenarios. This is an area where you should work closely with your Fleet Manager and your insurance company to develop a detailed policy.
- Use your resources – You don’t have to figure all of this your on your own! With a little time and effort, you can find lots of valuable information from reliable sources on managing elderely driver issues. Start with your insurance company and spend some time reviewing information on websites where you’ll find suggestions and examples of safe driving practices & policies. To help provide you with a jump start, we’re providing links to several websites,, which are listed below. If you would care to receive a free consultation on Aging Driver Issues, you may click here and one of our specialists will be glad to assist you with your questions!
Resources for developing a cultue of driver safety: