Driving Safety - When Should Elders Stop Driving?By Child Safety Specialist September 04, 2012 | 10:00 AMPosted in: Senior Safety, Family, Personal Safety
The topic of “senior citizens and driving” is definitely a
topic that sparks a lot of debate - after all, it is not marked in black and
white what age at which elderly drivers should stop driving (unlike the minimum
age of 16 or 17). Some folks in their 60s
suffer from health problems that preclude their ability to drive safely, while
some older people drive well and capably well into their 80s. It is normal to struggle with when it is
right to take the keys away from aging parents, and whenever it happens it is
Removing some of the emotional baggage from this struggle by
identifying warning signs is helpful in making the decision to encourage your
parent or another senior to stop driving.
When it comes to driving safety, there are a great deal of signs to look
out for that should come as a warning sign that someone’s health is making it
dangerous for him or her to continue driving. When someone’s health is making
it dangerous for them to continue to drive, they are putting not only their own
safety at risk, but the public as well.
We wouldn’t let a person that we knew was drunk drive, would we?
Here are some tips and warning signs to look for in
Check all prescribed medications to ensure that none of them conflict
with affect the person’s ability to drive safely.
Vision problems can seriously impair someone’s driving. Experiencing
blurred vision, sensitivity to light, or having trouble driving in the dark all
make it harder to react while behind the wheel.
Having trouble hearing is another red-flag when it comes to this topic.
Not being able to hear clearly can cause drivers to miss important cues needed
to remain safe, such as someone honking a horn or emergency sirens.
If you notice that a senior has problems with memory, it may be time
for them to stop driving. When someone has trouble remembering what exit to get
off, what direction to go, or experiences a pattern of getting lost, urge them
to consider alternate modes of transportation.
Finally, slowed reflexes may mean it is time to give up the keys. Being
able to react quickly is one of the most important skills of driving, and
having slowed reflexes could lead to a driver becoming flustered, confusing the
break and gas pedals, and many more safety issues
While it is certainly never an easy decision of when to
intervene with a senior citizens driving situation, it is important to look out
for these driving safety tips
and act upon them appropriately - for the sake of that person as well as
everyone else on the road! My friend’s
grandfather, in early stages of Alzheimer’s, backed up into a bank and nearly
ran someone over. He became so belligerent when asked to stop driving his car
that his doctor had to intervene and have his license revoked.
When to stop driving is definitely a sore issue for many
seniors as it may signal to them that they are losing their independence and
freedom. Tread carefully with your loved
one and remember that you have everyone’s personal safety in mind.
Important Rules for Teen Drivers
Distracted Driving: How to Stop your Teen from Texting and Driving
5 Tips for Preventing Drunk Driving
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