How soon after a diagnosis of dementia, does someone have to give up their licence?
Interestingly, not right away. However, they must fulfil certain legal requirements. Driving is a complicated task that requires a split-second combination of complex thought processes and manual skills. As the person’s dementia progresses, they will reach a point where they can no longer drive safely and must stop.
Losing the independence of driving is upsetting. It is important to acknowledge a person’s feelings and preserve his or her independence, while ensuring the person’s safety and the safety of others.
There are a number of steps you can take.
For instance, you can develop an agreement for all to share that includes practical safety steps, such as a periodic driving assessment, a GPS monitoring system for the car, and alternate transportation options such as taxi service or delivery.
Warning signs that it’s time to stop driving
- Forgetting how to locate familiar places
- Failing to observe traffic signs
- Making slow or poor decisions in traffic
- Driving at an inappropriate speed
- Becoming angry or confused while driving
- Hitting curbs
- Using poor lane control
- Making errors at intersections
- Confusing the brake and gas pedals
- Returning from a routine drive later than usual
- Forgetting the destination you are driving to during the trip
Click here for tips on stopping driving in the U.S.
Alzheimer’s Society Talking Point
Talking Point is an online community for anyone who is affected by dementia. It’s a place to ask questions, read about other people’s experiences, share information and feel supported.
Drivers Medical Group
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
Swansea SA99 1TU
T 0300 790 6801
W Questionnaire form for those with a medical condition that will affect their driving
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Northern Ireland (DVLNI)