Driving and Transportation Resources
Driving is important to us, giving us a sense a freedom and independence. Many of us have been driving for most of our lives and it is difficult to grasp that there may be a point where we are no longer able to do so. Having Parkinson’s does not mean you cannot drive, but driving may become an issue with some symptoms. Making the decision not to drive is very challenging. It is important to listen to input from family, friends, and professionals about your driving. No one wants to find themselves in an unsafe situation or feel they are a danger on the road. How will you know when it is time to stop driving? The information below can help give you and your family some guidance on this important and often sensitive issue.
When is it time to evaluate your driving?
In the state of Massachusetts, it is up to you, the driver, to evaluate your safety on the road. You can consult with your physician and speak to your family about your driving. It is usually helpful to get someone else’s feedback and assessment. In fact, you may not have to stop driving altogether. There may be adjustments you can make, such as only driving during the day and staying on familiar routes. In addition, there are several Driving Assessment Programs in the state which can help with this. Their information is listed below. These programs may require a physician referral and some are not covered by insurance, so we recommend first contacting them to find out this specific information.
I’m not driving – now what?
Whether it is running to the store or going to an appointment, driving is a routine part of our daily activity. Naturally, people wonder how they will get around without a car. One option may be found in your community, as many have transportation options for elders (usually age 60 and older). Contact your local Council on Aging or Area on Aging for more information. Other options may feel expensive at first, but you might be amazed at the amount of money you can save by not driving. A car requires maintenance, insurance, and gas, all of which can be costly expenses. You may be able to budget some of this money for other transportation means such as a taxi, shuttle service or home delivery. Be creative in how you get around! You can make a day with friends or family to do errands and go out. It may be difficult to ask or to rely on others, but many are willing to help.
- Ride Match provides a search engine tool to look for transportation from both public and private organizations in one place.
- Area on Aging
- Council on Aging
- MBTA Reduced Fare Passes 617-222-5438
- MBTA / The Ride 800-533-6282
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA): “Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions”
- Mobility Works is one of America’s largest providers of wheelchair vans, vehicle modifications, and adaptive equipment, including hand controls, wheelchair and scooter lifts, ramps, raised doors, lowered floors, and specialized gas, brake, and steering controls.
- Your Health and Driving Safely in Massachusetts Informational Pamphlet
Driving Evaluation Programs
Berkshire Medical Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center DriveWise and DriveAdvise
Newton-Wellesley Hospital Drive Safe Program
Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospitals
Boston, Braintree, Medford, Sandwich, and Wellesley, MA
Boston Senior Shuttle
Central Massachusetts Safety Council
West Boylston, MA
RMV Medical Affairs Bureau