Diminished Driving Capacity
Changes in vision, fitness, cognition, as well as the use of certain medications may affect a person’s ability to drive safely. Sometimes, certain adjustments may be enough to improve the person’s driving, such as only driving during daylight hours and in good weather; avoiding interstate driving and/or heavily-trafficked areas; or using a seat cushion to improve the driver’s visibility. In other cases, the person’s capacity to drive safely may be diminished to the point that it is time to hang up the car keys in order to avoid causing harm to the driver and others.
Below are some signs of diminished driving capacity:
- Having serious or minor accidents or near misses
- Having wandering thoughts or being unable to concentrate
- Being unable to read ordinary road signs or signals
- Getting lost on familiar roads
- Driving too fast or too slow
- Decreased reaction time
- Having other drivers honk at you frequently
- Being spoken to about your driving by police, family, and friends
Giving up one’s license is never an easy thing to do since driving helps us maintain independence and avoid isolation. The AARP offers a free online seminar (aarp.org/auto/driver-safety/we-need-to-talk) to help you assess your loved one’s driving skills and provide tools to help you have this important conversation.
To surrender a driver’s license and get an identification card, visit your nearest Department of Driver Services Customer Service Center.
What if my loved one refuses to surrender his or her driver’s license?
If your loved one does not agree that it is unsafe for him or her to continue to drive, you can request that the Department of Driver Services (DDS) review the situation. You will need to send them a written letter or complete and send the Request for Medical Review (DDS 270), which can be found on the DDS website at dds.georgia.gov/documents/request-driver-review. The DDS will require the driver to complete and submit medical and vision forms signed by a licensed physician to help ascertain whether he or she is fit to drive. To learn more about this process, go to dds.georgia.gov/medical-review-process.
What if I want my driving privileges restored?
If you have surrendered your driver’s license and are subsequently cleared to drive, you can contact the Department of Driver Services at 678-413-8400 to have your driving privileges restored. Depending on the circumstances, you may be required to retake your driving exam.