Highway Safety Office
While most older drivers are good drivers, the physical changes associated with aging can ultimately affect their ability to drive safe. To make everyone aware of this, the organizations shown at the bottom of this section are proud to present “GrandDriver,” a program that provides information about aging and its effects on driving.
The "GrandDriver" program urges the public – particularly drivers over 65 and their adult children – to learn more about the effects of aging on their ability to drive and to talk about all of the issues involved in this complex subject. Click on each of the topics shown below for more information:
Did you know…
171,536 Nebraskans age 70 and older licensed to drive in Nebraska.
While being “OLDER” does not equal being “DANGEROUS,” it may equal being “AT-RISK.”
Advanced age should not automatically suggest an individual is a dangerous driver regardless of the newspaper headlines over the past several years. The fact is most older drivers are quite capable of safely operating a motor vehicle.
Drivers age 65 and older actually have the lowest per capita crash rate, while 16-year-old drivers have the highest rate. However, the number of crashes that occur per mile driven does increase with age after 65 as does the fatality rate per capita and per mile. Drivers age 85 and older have the highest fatality rates per capita among all drivers. In fact, the fatality rate per mile for age 85-plus drivers is comparable to or greater than that of teenagers over 16 years of age. Yet, the data shows older people are not riskier drivers but are more at risk of injury in crashes because they are less resilient than younger drivers.
A variety of age-related changes may make driving more difficult for older persons, including:
in low-light conditions (dusk, fog, etc.), and difficulty following moving objects.
serious dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease.
There are a number of organizations that can conduct driver evaluations or “competency tests” for an older driver. These organizations can assess a driver’s physical and mental abilities to drive safely. They may also be able to recommend simple changes in driving habits that will make driving safer and also recommend simple devices (such as a wide-angle rearview mirror) that can help drivers continue to drive safely. Unfortunately, these programs are not available to drivers free of charge. Most programs charge a fee ($100 or higher) for this service. Examples of providers are:
Alegent Health-Immanuel Rehabilitation
Center Driver Education Program, Omaha, Nebraska
Center for Independent Living of Central
Nebraska, Grand Island, NE
Columbus Community Hospital Rehabilitative
Services Driving Program, Columbus, Nebraska
Methodist Hospital Driver Rehabilitation
Program, Omaha, Nebraska
Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital Driver
Retraining Program, Lincoln, Nebraska
Rehab Center – Regional West, Scottsbluff,
Within Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a list of State approved Driver Training Schools. These schools provide driver training and evaluation for a fee.
Click here to view the list of Driver Training Schools in Nebraska.
Driving is more than just a means of transportation in America. To many older persons, the car is a symbol of independence, a social and economic status symbol, and a part of their adult life and personality. The loss of driving privileges is not only associated with limited mobility but also decreased socialization and independence. It is not surprising, that convincing an older driver to hand over their car keys, turn in their license, and give up driving is very emotional and difficult.
The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can help families and friends convince an older driver to turn in their license. The DMV is responsible for the review of individuals who may have a physical or mental condition that interferes with their ability to drive safely. In reviewing a driver’s abilities, DMV’s goal is to allow the individual to drive for as long as they can exercise reasonable and ordinary control over their vehicle.
The DMV has an established procedure that allows individuals to (confidentially) report drivers they believe to be unsafe or have a medical condition that jeopardizes their safety and others on the roadway. A thoroughly completed Citizen Reexamination Report must be sent to the Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles identifying this driver and describing the problems this driver may be having along with any other relevant information. Email requests cannot be accepted.
The DMV will review the submitted and the driver's record of the individual in question. The DMV may contact you for further information. If the DMV finds sufficient cause, the driver will be sent a certified letter requesting they appear at an identified drivers license examination site. They will also be instructed to bring a completed valid vision and medical statement (conducted within the past 90 days). They also will be requested to be prepared to take the written and drive portion of the driver’s test.
If the individual fails to submit an acceptable medical or vision report or fails any portion of the driver’s test, their license will be cancelled at that time.
If the driver desires to challenge the vision or medical cancellation, they may appeal that decision through the DMV’s Medical Advisory Board. If they are cancelled because of a failure to successfully pass the written or drive test, they may attempt to retake the tests at any time.
Click Link for a copy of the
Citizen Reexamination Report