Austroads : assessing fitness to drive




6.1 Dementia

This section focuses on dementia, being defined for the purposes of this publication, as a progressive deterioration of cognitive

function due to degenerative conditions of the central nervous system……..

Effects of dementia on driving

Dementia may affect driving ability in a number of ways including:

•errors with navigation, including forgetting routes and getting lost in familiar surroundings

 •limited concentration or ‘gaps’ in attention, such as failing to see or respond to ‘stop’ signs

 •errors in judgement, including misjudging the distance between cars and misjudging the speed of other cars

 •confusion when making choices, for example, difficulty choosing between the accelerator or brake pedals in stressful situations

 •poor decision making or problem solving, including failure to give way appropriately at intersections and inappropriate stopping

in traffic

 •poor insight and denial of deficits

 •slowed reaction time, including failure to respond in a timely fashion to instructions from passengers

 •poor hand–eye coordination.


Also see

Carmody, J., Traynor, V. & Iverson, D. C. (2012). Dementia and driving: An approach for general practice. Australian Family Physician, 41 (4), 230-233.

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