Older Drivers

Cone iconAre you concerned about an older driver? While most older Virginians are safe drivers, there are a few who continue to drive when they are at-risk. For families, friends, and caregivers, the issue of what to do about an aging loved one who is at-risk while driving can be perplexing and painful. Many families have difficulty deciding when their older relative should stop driving and must weigh potential safety considerations against their loved one's sense of independence, pride, and control. Visit our Virginia GrandDriver website for more information.

The following are some warning signs that may indicate that an older driver can no longer operate an automobile safely:

  • Run through stop signs or red lightsThey run through stop signs or red lights before they realize they should have stopped;
  • Stop for green lightsThey stop for green lights, or when there is no indication that they need to stop;
  • Come close to hitting other vehicles, pedestrians, or objectsThey come close to hitting other vehicles, pedestrians, or objects with their vehicle;
  • Merge or change lanes without lookingThey merge into another lane, or change lanes without looking;
  • Drive the wrong way against trafficThey drive the wrong way against traffic;
  • Get lost in familiar areasThey get lost in familiar areas;
  • Stop in the middle of intersectionsThey stop in the middle of intersections; or
  • Confuse the gas and the brake pedalsThey confuse the gas and the brake pedals.

GrandDriver Program

GrandDriver logoWhile most older drivers are good drivers, the physical changes associated with aging can ultimately affect our ability to drive safely. The Virginia GrandDriver web site provides information about aging and its effects on driving.

The CarFit Program is just one of the offerings from GrandDriver. In this captioned video, learn about how the program works from Nancy Lo, Virginia GrandDriver Coordinator.

Reporting an At-Risk Driver

If you are concerned about the ability of an older friend or relative to drive safely, but have been unable to convince them to give up driving, you can ask the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to conduct a medical review of their ability to operate an automobile. DMV promptly reviews all reports of hazardous or impaired drivers it receives. As part of the review process, DMV may require the older driver to:

  • Submit a medical and/or vision statement from their doctor;
  • Pass the written part driver's license knowledge exam; and/or
  • Pass the road skills (driving) test.

Based on DMV's evaluation of the medical information and/or test results, DMV will determine whether to:

  • suspend their driving privilege;
  • restrict their driving privilege; or
  • require them to submit periodic medical and/or vision reports.

For further information, contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) by visiting their web site, or by calling toll-free 1-866-DMVLINE (1-866-368-5463) or 1-800-435-5137.

Providing Transportation for the Elderly and People with Disabilities

Car logoVirginia law allows taxpayers to voluntarily donate all or part of their income tax refund to one or more qualified organizations as approved by the General Assembly. One of these is the Elderly and Disabled Transportation fund (Code 65) provided for older or disabled Virginians who cannot drive or use public transportation.

This fund provides the elderly or disabled with transportation to and from their jobs, medical care appointments, grocery stores, etc. To make a contribution to this fund on your tax return, see the instructions for lines 24 and 25 on Virginia Schedule ADJ. You may also send your contributions directly to an organization in your community. View more information about Voluntary Contributions you can make using your tax refund.

The Division for Community Living administers this fund, and periodically issues contracts with local transportation service providers. Sometimes, these transportation providers are one of Virginia's 25 local Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). Each Agency on Aging (AAA) in Virginia serves a specific territory of counties and cities that share common geographic, demographic, and economic boundaries. View a map of Virginia to locate the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) that serves your community. You may also search through Senior Navigator to obtain the name(s) of transportation service provider(s) in your community.

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