The Dialogue with Tom Antkow
This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our 158th installment visiting with Tom Antkow, President/CEO of Driver Safety Consultants and Adult Driver Services which is conducting free counseling sessions/seminars for drivers and their loved ones on the many liability issues that they may face if they ignore any physical, functional, cognitive or perceptual challenge that might effect their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle in today's driving environment.
Tell me more about Adult Driving Services:
I have been in the field of Driver Evaluation, Testing and Training for several years and have chosen to help all drivers, or potential drivers, the opportunity to learn different "Defensive Driving Tactics" in order to protect themselves and the others around them while operating a Motor Vehicle.
My main motivation and inspiration comes from the fact that I lost my only child, Melissa, and her unborn baby, as the result of a motor vehicle crash several years ago.
Additionally, I believe that driving should be available to everyone. Either to gain, regain or take advantage of the freedom and independence of driving safely may afford them.
My primary focus is to assist those dealing with issues of aging, with physical, functional, cognitive or perceptual challenges or disabilities and grant them the same opportunities to operate a motor vehicle as those drivers who take their skill for granted.
What is your goal with these sessions?
These counseling "sessions" may be done in private or in the form of a group in service presentation. I have done many in service presentations for private companies with fleet operations and drivers, Church youth groups, Senior centers, legal and medical professionals and many others in order to discuss the many challenges that driving involves. I have also been a guest speaker and appeared on multiple media as a safety specialist. Furthermore, we can conduct a confidential clinical screening, and if warranted, based on the results, we may then do a follow up in vehicle observational evaluation.
What is your background?
I got started in 1973 as a professional driving instructor after spending time as a truck driver. Ultimately, I opened my own school and worked, through contract, with the Arizona Department of Vocation and Rehabilitation and Phoenix Baptist Hospital in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
I currently have credentials as a Certified Clinical Driving Evaluator as well as a Driver Rehabilitation Specialist and have served as a State of Colorado Third Party tester as well as a Traffic Safety and Education Specialist. I have also held the position of the President of the DSAA ( the Driving School Association of the Americas). That International Trade Organization worked closely with NMEDA, NHTSA, ADTSEA as well as the AAA Foundation and others, in developing and institiuting “Traffic Safety Educational and Safety Standards” to the Driving School Industry on a local and National basis.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The satisfaction of assisting individuals in gaining or regaining their independence. Educating individual drivers in defensive driving practices as well as informing them on liability issues and best practices in driving.