The California Office of Traffic Safety has awarded a grant to the Training, Research and Education for Driving Safety (TREDS) program at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, to promote driving safety in older adults. The award marks the sixth consecutive year that the program has received the grant, a recent news release reports.

The TREDS training is intended to increase awareness among health care professionals and law enforcement about the impact that aging can have on driving ability. The training places a focus on screening guidelines recommended by the American Medical Association (AMA), rehabilitation options, and counseling techniques, the release notes. The law enforcement training centers on visual representations of medical impairments behind the wheel, effective intervention approaches, and referral options.

Linda Hill, MD, PhD, emphasizes that a multidisciplinary approach between health professionals, the community, and law enforcement is vital to keeping older adults driving as long as safely possible.“It is very important for older adults to maintain a healthy lifestyle, to ensure driving fitness,” Hill says.

Raul Coimbra, MD, PhD, FACS, chief of the division of trauma at UC San Diego Health System and founder of the UCSD Injury Epidemiology, Prevention, and Research Center, echoes Hill’s sentiment and adds, “Older adults who can no longer safely drive put themselves and their often frail passengers at risk. Older adults are four times as likely to die in crashes of similar intensity than 20-year-olds.”

According to the release, more than 1,500 health professionals and 1,200 law enforcement officers in Southern California have received TREDS training.

For more information and older driver resources, click here.

[Source: UC San Diego Health System]