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Registered User
Apr 3, 2008
Research Project -

There is currently a lack of consistency in the methods used to establish whether a person with dementia is safe to continue driving. This research project, run by the University of Nottingham and funded by the Alzheimer’s Society, aims to raise awareness of this problem, and develop a more rigorous method of assessing safety to drive.

We intend to find out whether performance on a variety of cognitive tests (e.g. tests of memory, reasoning, speed of information processing), can predict safety to drive in people with dementia. This may allow us to identify those people who should be referred to a specialised driving assessment centre.

For people to be involved in this study, we need them to:
1. Have dementia.
2. Be currently driving.
3. Have a valid driving licence.
4. Be willing to be assessed on tests of memory, reasoning and concentration which take about an hour.
5. Be willing to be assessed driving on the road in Nottingham, Derby or Chesterfield.

If you would like any more information about the study, or would like to get involved, please contact Jenny and Kristina (Research Associates) on drivingindementia@googlemail.com.

[Brucie: edited to remove personal email addresses and telephone number as per normal advice. A new non-personal email address has been created for direct communication with the project.
Last edited by a moderator:


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
The subject of driving for people who have dementia is one that comes up quite frequently on Talking Point and it is an extremely important one, not only for those who have dementia and their families, but also anyone who is on the road.

Research in this area is clearly very important!


Account Closed
Nov 23, 2007
I have only just seen this post

I would not like to be in a car with anyone with dementia.
For the safety of all other's, and the dementia sufferer, remove the licence.


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
lesmisralbles said:
I would not like to be in a car with anyone with dementia.
For the safety of all other's, and the dementia sufferer, remove the licence.
Hi Barb,

I'm all for that, as long as we can make the same rules apply to:

- people who use mobile phones when driving
- people who adjust their appearance when driving
- people who take their meals while at the wheel
- people who drink, then drive
- people who naturally have no ability to drive
- people who drive unsafe cars
- people with a bunch of rowdy friends/kids/pets in the car

- I'm sure others could think of a few more categories.

And even then, it would not stop the uninsured, and those without licences, thieves, etc.

The research that is being done is important because it seeks to measure the ability of someone with dementia to drive.

There will be those in the early stages of dementia who are far better and safer drivers than others on the road who do not have dementia.

The key thing for me would be that, if practical measuring techniques can be defined, then it will make the decision of whether someone should retain their licence better, and take some onus from relatives.

There are enough worries for the carer already and to minimise one would be helpful!

It might even be that if this works, then just remove item 1) "Have dementia" from the list and there is a good check on any driver..... ;)


Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
When I lived in Spain everyone had to have a practical test of driving on a machine which tested your concentration and steering ability and a medical certificate issued by a doctor before the 5 yearly renewable driving license was issued.

I'm sure that anyone with dementia could be given a similar test periodically (depending on the rapidity of their onset) which would allow them to continue driving for as long as possible without all the stresses and strains imposed on relatives who have to take the brunt of the worry of when to try to stop the suffer from driving.



Registered User
Mar 21, 2003
Just to point out that the society already provides a decent factsheet on this subject:

Driving and dementia

Interesting factsheet. My dad drove in the very early stages without any problems at all. If anything I'd say he was a little over-cautious that's all.

It is such a difficult area as everyone's dementia and rate of progression is different. It is a time when the family, friends and relatives can help as they can be more objective about the progression. Dad has had a very slow progression so in his individual case it was easy to tell when the time was right to stop driving.

Interesting observations Bruce. I must have seen at least 10 people today on mobile phones while driving and you can buy a hands free cable for £3 on ebay including postage - have never understood why the police don't act more often. At £3, there really is no excuse to openly flaunt the law IMHO.

Kind Regards


Registered User
Nov 20, 2006
Problem I see with this is finding someone that is driving and will admit they have dementia/alzheimers... With my father the stage he was at while still driving the very mention that there maybe something wrong with his memory had him very defensive! He was in complete denial about it. It wasn't until he got to the stage that driving became dangerous that we managed to get him to see someone about it.