Your voice: Aging Drivers

In general, CARP members are in favour of certain restrictions on seniors’ driver’s licenses, if the alternative is no permit.

One half of CARP members surveyed thought restricted licenses, based on health or skills issues, were a good idea, and the vast majority said they would prefer a restricted license to being no longer allowed to drive. The restriction seen to be most acceptable for seniors’ licenses is no driving after dark. One half of members agree that all drivers, not just themselves, should undergo vision and skill testing every five years

When they were asked if they thought, in general, whether restricted driving licenses were a “good idea”, 52% of CARP members surveyed said yes, while just fewer (47%) said their answer would depend on the nature of the restrictions imposed.

When asked if they would accept a license with some restrictions, as opposed to having their license withdrawn, the vast majority of CARP members (95%) said they would accept certain restrictions on their driving privileges.

The specific restriction deemed most acceptable (by 51%) is “no driving after dark”, which is not surprising, as this is a restriction many seniors impose on themselves. After this restriction, “no travel during rush hour” (24%) and “no travel on 400-series highways” (22%) are seen to be acceptable to about one quarter of members, while “no travel more than 20 km from home” is seen to be acceptable to very few (2%).

Two thirds of CARP members surveyed felt the decision on imposing a restricted license was best left to a combination of MTO staff and the member’s doctor (68%), while just fewer than one third thought the decision belonged with the doctor alone (31%).

Members of CARP are split on whether all drivers should have vision and skill testing once every five years (54%) or not (46%).

Survey results are based on a self-selected online sample of 1180 members of CARP who visited the organization’s website. Results can be said to be accurate within 3%, either up or down, at the 95% confidence level. That is, if all visitors to the CARP website were asked these questions, their answers would be within 3% of those shown here, 19 out of 20 times asking the identical question.

Photo © di Filippo

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