The economy needs the experience and knowledge of older workers. However, aging affects our physiological abilities to drive. If you employ drivers here is some relevant information.


* Men: By age 60 – ½ of their physical strength is lost
* Women: By age 70 – ½ of their bone mass is lost
* Vision: At age 50 we see ½ the light we would see at age 20
* Hearing: High pitched motor sounds often cause loss of hearing in many people
* Reaction times, reflexes, OTC & Rx drugs, anxiety, and distractions are all magnified by the aging process


We age at different rates. Some healthy workers will be able to drive into their 80’s and perhaps beyond.

Slowing the aging process requires attention to the basics: diet, exercise, sleep, family, friends, AND self evaluation and testing. Knowing what your drivers are and are not capable of doing will help reduce work place injuries with older drivers.


Most companies have instituted pre-employment screenings and ongoing driver safety standards. What may be missing is the awareness of the physiological affects of aging in the work environment.

Strategies for RTW case resolution by the employer, adjuster and if assigned a case manager include:

* Post job offer physical ability assessment
* Safety and wellness programs for prevention
* Work site analysis and evaluation of injury risks
* Use of quality occupational physicians
* Use of case managers to keep the IW and Drs focused on the compensable injuries and early RTW options

June 2010
Author: Maxine Russell, BSN, RN, CCM
Editor: D. Perry