Alberta Corporate Driver Assessments and Risk Evaluations

Alberta's Original "ONE STOP SHOP" for All risk reduction services,
related to the privilege of operating a motor vehicle or a motorcycle.
Serving Alberta Since 2009
A SINCERE TALK

PLEASE SHARE WITH THE AGING DRIVER YOU MIGHT KNOW AND CARE ABOUT!

The Risk of THE aging driver becoming unsafe does not just appear overnight. There are signs, and if acted upon early, these signs can help to plan the spam of the driving privilege in many cases. Start with yourself and develop a long-term plan for when to hang up your car keys.

As a driver examiner, I can only accept one way of driving a vehicle - safely. Therefore, any signs or indications of unsafe driving habits will not be tolerated and will have to be worked on in order for an individual to maintain their driving license. However, if my only concern was not to allow potentially unsafe drivers on the road, that would mean I only care for safety 50 % of the time. Well, I like to think I am more professional than that.

So, the other 50 % of caring for safety comes from taking the unsafe drivers off the road. As harsh as it may sound, it is not necessarily how it could be done.

I have been a very vocal advocate for allowing aging drivers to keep their driving privilege for longer. I combined different tactics to support this statement: from making information on the process much more accessible (through my seminars and articles) to conducting actual on-road assessments which greatly helped many aging drivers to extend their driving privilege.

Please do not get me wrong. I am not trying to promote ac DARE here by guaranteeing that through our services everyone will drive longer. No. I am just stressing out that aging driver support is available finally and there are professional tools that actually exist and provide a simple solution to a very challenging problem.

The driver is not necessarily has to be taken off the road permanently - that's the key. Temporarily break in driving will allow the driver to follow the recommendations on improving their driving skill and allow them to come back onto the road much more confident and safe.

This is what being often neglected when the issue of aging drivers comes up: they need, just like any of us, a professional review of their driving skill and help in improvement. If this process starts early, any aging driver can be well prepared for the last stage of the driving plan and feel confident for the time being, without possessing any risk to themselves and other drivers!

Let's discuss a very simple plan, more like a step-by step checklist, which I would recommend to follow to any driver who is 65 and older, regardless of the state of health and driving record.

1. How is my driving today? 65 - 70
Ask yourself at every change of the season - at least 4 times a year.

The Core:
You have had your drivier's license for quite some time. You are most likely had little to no accidents and not a significant amount of traffic tickets. You would like to maintain your driving record this way. However, you do have questions...

Be honest with yourself! You will not be answering the following questions for me, you will be answering them for yourself!

Questions to ask yourself:

Driver Says: "When the other day a young man in a sports car honked at me and passed me in the right lane, while giving me a "dirty look" - I tried to dismiss the experience by calling him "impatient ... (insert your comment here)". I will never get engaged in a road rage! Those young people are so impatient nowadays!
Question 1: Am I starting to think that the slower I go, the safer I will be ?
If answered "yes" - please do not hesitate to contact us or any other professional driving institution for evaluation of your current safety level.

Driver Says: "I feel very energized, motivated and I am very happy with my age. Now, if I could only feel more confident driving on Deerfoot Trail... "
Question 2: Am I starting to think that more vehicles on the road means more danger?
If answered "yes" - contact your local driving school for a two hour refresher.

Driver Says: "I know all traffic rules. Ever since I got my license (that was more than 4 decades ago) I never had problems with understanding traffic signs, etc."
Question 3: When was the last time I refreshed my knowledge of driving laws and regulations?
If answered "more than 2 yearsr ago" - please find some time as soon as possible to refresh your knowledge.

Driver Says: "My son is starting to really annoy me - lately he has been "backseat driving" every time we go golfing together! It's like I do not know what I am doing! I taught him to drive, for Pete's sake!"
Question 4: How many times has your passenger advised you of a traffic light change or an oncoming traffic in the past 3 months?
If answered "more than twice", - try to fit in a driver assessment as soon as possible.

THE BIG FEAR:

"Yeah, it's like I am going to do it to myself - let them know I am starting to get concerned about my driving. They will take my license away - that's pretty much all they want to do - to take seniors off the road!"

THE BIG TRUTH:

At some point of time, one day in the future, the driving privilege will be taken away from any of us, unless we will give it up ourselves. Now... How would you like to stop worrying about that day?

First of all, nor our company, nor a driving school is obligated to report your current safety risk level just because you are becoming concerned with your driving and seek some help with improvement.
Next, the sooner you start working on extending your privilege, the longer the spam of your driving life be! It's a no-brainer, proven way!

THE BIG UNKNOWN:

The Road Test. Do they do anything special when they are dealing with a senior? Are there tougher demands so that no one can "pass"? The Government just steps in and takes the licenses at random? My children can influence the outcome of the test by expressing their sincere concern to the examiner? My doctor may send a notice asking examiner to "trick" the driver, so that the license will be taken away... (I am not kidding you, those are some of the questions and beliefs aged drivers shared with me before road tests!)

By completing a mid-term assessment (between two mandatory tests) you will stay in touch with your driving reality more and will be much more confident and safe.

Once again - I do not care who is in the car with me - I care for their safety and safety of others. Period. No "tricks", no additional "challenges". And there is ABSOLUTELY no way around this!

2. How is my driving today? 70 - 75

Stop listening to the increasing amount of scary stories about the road test and related things which your friends bring up at every gathering! Ask the questions above every 2 months. Act accordingly! If your doctor sends you for a road test - GO! Just take time to prepare yourself! No one will be to blame if you do not.

REMEMBER - YOU ARE THE ONE WHO IS IN CHARGE OF YOUR OWN DECISIONS! Could you please make a decision that you might need some driving refresher lessons?

Start coordinating your daily driving schedule - what time is the best time to schedule a doctors appointment or appointment with your hairdresser? Do you live in a busy traffic area? Will the morning or afternoon traffic be a bit more challenging for you? Do your children live nearby and can give you lift just in case you are feeling a bit "under weather"? Do you really need to go somewhere this late at night? - Whatever there is - ask yourself questions and plan your driving time accordingly!

DEMENTIA...
Please follow this link to read more about driving in early stages of dementia http://www.acdareinc.com/MedStandards.html (will open in a new window).
Yes, it is possible. Make sure you work with your doctor and loved ones very closely on this one!

3. How is my driving today? 75 - up

Time to really start asking those around you. Depending on what they say, act quickly to extend your driving privilege! Have your driving skill assessed every 6 months.

THIS IS THE KEY - do not wait until THEY tell you - BE THE FIRST to know.
You may want to limit your driving hours now and chose the public transit or taxi at certain times of the day or during a winter season.

By the way - being driven in a taxi by no way limits your freedom! You are still going where you want to go. Yes, I know, - there are costs attached to it. But the gas and insurance and registration are not free, are they?

WHAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT AND IS TOTALLY PRICELESS - IS YOUR LIFE AND LIVES OF OTHERS.

I WILL LET YOU DECIDE IF IT'S TIME TO START ASKING QUESTIONS.
THE BULB WILL BURN ONE DAY. WHAT'S IN YOUR DRAWER?
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In Closing:

There is not another MORE stubborn person in the whole world than me. I know that white is white when I see it. But when you tell me it's white, I just need to say it's black.

In most cases, this stubbornness gets me nowhere. I often wonder - what is going to happen when the question of my own driving safety will come up? I was born with passion for driving. I have been driving since my early teens and the car gives me the most important boost - freedom and independence. As an examiner, I must maintain the perfect driving record and know all the rules... I do...

BUT... one day I will have to give up my driving privilege. I know it. Therefore, I am starting working on accepting it now - yes, I am not even 40 yet.
Just to prove you - even I can agree with the facts of life and I do really care about your safety!

"DARE TO DRIVE SAFE!"

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