UF Smart drive program helps at - risk motorists improve driving skills


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    A new program called Smart Drive is giving senior citizens a chance to improve their skills behind the wheel.

    For many people driving is a big part of daily life, but when age or a medical condition starts to affect someone's ability to drive it could mean the loss of mobility.

    Dr. Sherrilene Classen, director of Smart Drive says its a program that helps drivers improve their skills behind the wheel.

    “Ultimately we want to make sure that people are on the road as safe as possible and as long as possible while we are protecting their safety but also the safety of the public," Classen said.

    The Smart Drive program isn't just for seniors -- Dr. Luther King, the program's certified driver rehabilitation specialist, says teen drivers with developmental disabilities and drivers with medical conditions like parkinson and dementia can benefit from the program as well.

    "This program is extremely important especially for those who have encountered some sort of medical incident that has impacted their ability to drive."

    The program starts with an assessment and then the driver gets behind the wheel of a simulation car.

    "Its more of assessing various aspects of driving. So making sure they're attending to the road and making sure they're following all of the traffic laws," King said.

    The goal of the program is to drivers back on the road safely.

    In some cases after the assessment some clients may not be cleared to drive a vehicle, but there is still hope for those drivers with a mobility plan.

    "In that case we make sure that there is a community mobility plan for them so that they can still be actively engaged in mobility," Classen said.


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