TZD Traffic Safety Hotdish: Improving Safety for Aging Drivers...and We Are All Aging

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

About the Event

Impaired driving is often blamed on a driver being drunk or drugged, but the Minnesota Strategic Highway Safety Plan has recognized that aging can lead to physical and cognitive changes that also impair a driver's ability to travel safely. Although drivers at any age may be cognitively or physically impaired, normal aging increases the risk of impaired driving.

This webinar outlined age-related driving changes, shared tools that help to objectively identify any impairments, and provided actions to consider when an aging driver is becoming unsafe. Attendees also learned about options for improving older driver safety while maintaining the sensitivity required when balancing the need to save lives with concerns regarding loss of independence. 

Event Materials


Joan Somes

Joan Somes, PhD, RN-BC, NRP, spent 40 years as an emergency nurse and has been working as an emergency care educator for 46 years. She currently works for Regions Hospital EMS as a critical care educator and does special projects for the Minnesota Department of Health. Joan has been awarded DPS/OTS grants to do work statewide that increases awareness of changes that occur with aging drivers, ways to recognize these changes, and options to consider when encountering someone that is becoming less safe on the road. Joan is the chair of  the Minnesota Emergency Nurses Association's Institute for Quality, Safety, and Injury Prevention Committee and the section editor of the Journal of Emergency Nursing, and she has been published numerous times.


Attendees are eligible for 1.25 Professional Development Hours.

More Information

For more information, please contact Linda Dolan at


This event was sponsored by the Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths program and the Minnesota Departments of Health, Public Safety, and Transportation with funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The event is hosted by the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota.