Three-Prong Approach To Driving Assessment of Potentially Unsafe Drivers Interview with:

Dr. Lisa Kirk Wiese PhD, RN, APHN-BC C.E. Lynn College of Nursing Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL 3343

Dr. Lisa Wiese What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The impetus for this article was our experience from working at FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing’s Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center with families as we conducted assessments of older adults referred to our program by family members or law enforcement. We realized that there is a need to educate nurses that a) they can help to identify persons who may be at risk for unsafe driving before accidents occur, and b) there are resources to help families and nurses navigate this challenging topic. This awareness is especially important for persons and friend/family members who find themselves trying to cope with a known or potential diagnosis of dementia. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: If you are concerned that someone may be at risk for unsafe driving, contact a center that offers the three-pronged approach to driving assessment. This includes the neurological and physical evaluation, computerized simulation, and on-road test. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: There is a gap in comparing the effectiveness of the three-pronged approach to computer simulations only, of which the latter is more commonly available and results may be only partially helpful. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Often the most difficult part of this process is broaching the subject of the need for a driving evaluation. If you are uncertain if driving skills are declining, ask the questions presented in Figures 2 and 3 of the article titled “Supporting Safety in the Older Adult Driver: A Public Health Nursing Opportunity” published in the journal Public Health Nursing. Treating older adults with respect while being mindful of the risks involved if unsafe driving is allowed to continue is essential. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Wiese, L. K. and Wolff, L. (2016), Supporting Safety in the Older Adult Driver: A Public Health Nursing Opportunity. Public Health Nursing. doi: 10.1111/phn.12274

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD