Fitness-to-Drive Screening (FTDS) Measure for At-Risk Older Drivers *Cancelled*

Event Date

  • 6/24/2013
    6:30 PM - 9:00 PM Eastern


  • University of Florida


  • Gainesville

This event has been cancelled and registrations are no longer being accepted at this time. If you have any questions, please contact Jeri Shell at


Dr. Sherrilene Classen, PhD, MPH, OTR/L
Associate Professor
UF Occupational Therapy


Jeri Shell 
Project Manager 
UF T2 Center
(352) 273-1693

Background: The approaching “Gray Tsunami” - the rapidly growing population of aging Baby Boomers - has placed renewed importance on the identification of at-risk older drivers. On-road testing, the gold standard for assessment, is expensive and is often unavailable to drivers in this age group. Additionally, caregivers, friends, or loved ones who share lived experiences with older individuals often have valuable information to contribute regarding fitness-to-drive. To overcome the limitations of on-road testing and to better involve the public in identifying at-risk drivers, researchers, led by Dr. Sherrilene Classen at the University of Florida Institute for Mobility, Activity and Participation, have developed and tested the Fitness-to Drive Screening Measure (FTDS; formerly known as the Safe Driving Behavior Measure).

Description: The FTDS Measure is a user-friendly web-based tool that caregivers, family members, and occupational therapy (OT) practitioners can use to identify potentially at-risk older drivers. Located online at, the measure is freely available to anyone with an internet connection. The tool allows caregivers, friends, or loved ones who have accompanied the driver in a vehicle during the past three months to rate his/her difficulties in any of 54 behaviors related to driving. Upon completion of the screening, FTDS generates a profile of each driver, which includes a classification into one of three categories (basic driver [1], routine driver [2], accomplished driver [3]). Depending on the driver category, recommendations—logical next steps caregivers or OTs can take - are suggested for the driver. Recommendations include guidelines for continued fitness-to-drive, possible intervention options, and/or guidance on starting conversations about driving cessation.

Research: By conducting 200 comprehensive driving evaluations on older drivers and collecting data from 200 family members/loved ones, we determined measurement properties for FTDS, including validity (face, content, and construct), factor structure, dimensionality, and item/person-level psychometrics [1-3]. We determined the rater severity of the three rater groups (older driver, caregiver/family member, and driving evaluator) [4] and the criterion validity of the FTDS Measure as it relates to the gold standard on-road driving evaluation [5]. Finally, we integrated the FTDS into a web-based tool, which provides users with key forms (rating profiles) and ratings-based driver categories (i.e., basic, routine, and accomplished), each with targeted recommendations.  

Implications: Our findings suggest that this measure may be useful in: (1) helping family members/caregivers identify at-risk older drivers and providing logical next steps based on key form recommendations; (2) aiding OT practitioners in identifying an entry point for further intervention or referrals; and (3) allowing a Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialists (CDRS) to develop realistic and targeted intervention goals to promote driver fitness.

Acknowledgement: This project was funded by

  1. NIH: National Institute on Aging (R21) PAR-06-247 (PI-Classen)
  2. DOT: UF’s Center for Multimodal Studies on Congestion Mitigation (CMS) # 00063055 (PI-Classen)
  3. FDOT: BDK 77977-17(PI-Classen) 



  1. Winter, S. M., Classen, S., Bédard, et al. (2011). Focus group findings for a self-report Safe Driving Behavior Measure. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 78(2), 72-79.
  2. Classen, S., Wen, P., Velozo, C., Bédard, M., Brumback, B., Winter, S.M., & Lanford, D.N. (2012). Psychometrics of the Self-Report Safe Driving Behavior Measure for Older Adults. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66(2), 233-241.
  3. Classen, S., Wen, P., Velozo, C., Bédard, M., Brumback, B., Winter, S.M., & Lanford, D.N. (2012).Rater Reliability and Rater Effects of the Safe Driving Behavior Measure. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 16, 69-77.
  4. Classen, S., Wang, Y., Velozo, C., Bédard, M., Winter, S.M., & Lanford, D.N. (2013). Concurrent Criterion validity of the Safe Driving Behavior Measure: A Predictor of On-Road Driving Outcomes. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. In press.


[1] Basic driver: Although the driver can perform some basic driving skills, there are safety concerns that need immediate attention. The driving skills causing concern are: (examples are selected from the driver’s profile)

[2] Routine driver: The driver shows early signs of needing intervention.  There are driving skills that are causing concern. For example: (examples  are selected from the driver’s profile)

[3] Accomplished driver: Driving is overall good, but difficulty is experienced with some challenging driving situation, e.g., (examples are selected from the driver’s profile).

Online registration is not available at this time.