Road Injury Prevention Litigation Journal
Road Injury Prevention & Litigation Journal
February, 2001
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Drivers 55 Plus: Self-Rating Form

(The questionnaire below is reproduced, with permission, from the website of the American Automobile Association (AAA). We have modified the questionnaire and instructions to allow you to print the form and mark your responses on the printout. For helpful information related to your response to each question, you may want to read AAA's "Drivers 55 Plus: Suggestions for Improvement" also published in this month's issue of Road Injury Prevention & Litigation Journal. If you would like to complete the questionnaire as an interactive, on-line quiz, you can do so by linking to the AAA webpage at http://www.aaafts.org/Text/driver55.htm.)

INSTRUCTIONS:

For each of the following 15 questions, circle the answer that most applies to you.

Introduction:

Think about what tasks you do every time you get behind the wheel of a car. You must coordinate the actions of your hands, feet, eyes, ears, and body movements. At the same time, you must decide how to react to what you see, hear, and feel in relation to other cars and drivers, traffic signs and signals, conditions of the highway, and the performance of your car.

These decisions are usually made close to other vehicles and must be converted quickly into action--brake, steer, accelerate, or a combination of all--to maintain or adjust your position in traffic. And these decisions must be made frequently. About 20 major decisions are needed for each mile driven; drivers frequently have less than one- half second to act to avoid a collision.

The record of older drivers is good, when you consider the number of collisions per driver, but when you consider the number of collisions per miles driven, this record is surprisingly bad. Older drivers have fewer collisions, because they drive less and at less dangerous times. But when they are in a crash, it can be very serious. In a two- car fatal collision, where one driver is 65 or older, the older driver is 3.5 times more likely to be killed. Injuries that are seen as moderate to severe for most people are fatal to people aged 55 and older.

Purpose of this Quiz:

One of the purposes of this self-rating form is to help you become, if you are not already, an "activated driver." An activated driver is someone who assumes responsibility for his or her own driving skills and who self-examines and compares his or her ability with the requirements for safe driving. The premise of this [article] is that through knowledge and self-awareness, you will understand what a safe driver is and will assume the responsibility to be a safe driver or to decide to give up the driver's license and seek other forms of transportation.

1.   I signal and check to the rear when I change lanes.

Always or Almost Always
Sometimes
Never or Almost Never

2.   I wear a seat belt.

Always or Almost Always
Sometimes
Never or Almost Never

3.   I try to stay informed on changes in driving and highway regulations.

Always or Almost Always
Sometimes
Never or Almost Never

4.   Intersections bother me because there is so much to watch from all directions.

Always or Almost Always
Sometimes
Never or Almost Never

5.   I find it difficult to decide when to join traffic on a busy interstate highway.

Always or Almost Always
Sometimes
Never or Almost Never

6.   I think I am slower than I used to be in reacting to dangerous driving situations.

Always or Almost Always
Sometimes
Never or Almost Never

7.   When I am really upset, I show it in my driving.

Always or Almost Always
Sometimes
Never or Almost Never

8.   My thoughts wander when I am driving.

Always or Almost Always
Sometimes
Never or Almost Never

9.   Traffic situations make me angry.

Always or Almost Always
Sometimes
Never or Almost Never

10.   I get regular eye checks to keep my vision at its sharpest.

Always or Almost Always
Sometimes
Never or Almost Never

11.   I check with my doctor or pharmacist about the effects of my medications on driving ability. (If you do not take any medication, skip this question.)

Always or Almost Always
Sometimes
Never or Almost Never

12.   I try to stay abreast of current information on health practices and habits.

Always or Almost Always
Sometimes
Never or Almost Never

13.   My children, other family members or friends are concerned about my driving ability.

Always or Almost Always
Sometimes
Never or Almost Never

14.   How many traffic tickets, warnings, or "discussions" with officers have you had in the past two years?

None
One or Two
Three or More

15.   How many accidents have you had during the past two years?

None
One or Two
Three or More

The questionnaire you have just completed has helped you to locate those areas where your physical and mental abilities call for a change in your driving habits and skills. [The next] section of the [article] [click here to link to "Drivers 55 Plus: Suggestions for Improvement"] offers suggestions to improve each driving skill highlighted in the questionnaire. Be sure to focus on those sections that correspond to the problem areas identified by the questionnaire.

JUDGMENT REVERSED IN PART, AFFIRMED IN PART, AMENDED AND RENDERED.



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