The older driver with dementia: an updated literature review

J Safety Res. 2005;36(4):399-407. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2005.07.005. Epub 2005 Oct 14.


Introduction: At some point during their illness, drivers with dementia pose a public safety risk.

Method: To address the issue of determining driving competence in drivers with dementia, the authors reviewed 11 studies.

Results: When comparing different driving assessments, the authors found that while road tests, simulators, and neuropsychological tests are important, each has limitations.

Conclusion: Neuropsychological tests that highlighted visual spatial skills, attention, and reaction time provided the most meaningful correlations with driving performance. Furthermore, the authors recommend that patients with MMSE scores of 24 or less have a driving evaluation, and that driving evaluations be repeated at six month intervals or more frequently if a noticeable decline is observed.

Impact: Because many older adults with dementia continue to drive, competence must be addressed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Automobile Driving / psychology*
  • Dementia / physiopathology
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Reaction Time
  • Risk Assessment
  • Safety*