Driving is a privilege that most Americans enjoy daily. Unfortunately, the time comes when many older adults must stop driving.
The overall risk of injury tends to increase with age and statistics show that fatal vehicle crashes are highest among drivers age 85 and older. As we age, several barriers to our physical and mental ability to meet the challenges posed by driving become apparent, such as a loss of vision or the development of cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Is It Time to Stop Driving?
For drivers who have spent their entire adult lives enjoying the freedom it offers, driving can be hard to give up. Sometimes adults who are struggling to continue to drive safely may not want to stop driving or even want to acknowledge there is a problem until an accident occurs. Losing the independence of driving can be distressing, and as these declines in health are often slow to develop, it becomes more difficult to know when it’s appropriate to turn over the keys.
To help prevent future accidents, we’ve developed an easy-to-use checklist for evaluating a senior’s driving. If an elderly driver is experiencing any of the issues described in the list, they may need to stop driving.
Checklist – 15 Signs To Watch For:
- New scrapes or dents on vehicle
- Driver is often lost or confused in areas that should be familiar
- Driver has received multiple tickets or warnings from police
- Friends or neighbors have expressed concern about driving ability
- Frequent near misses
- Driver is easily distracted while driving
- Slow reaction times or misjudging gaps in traffic
- Physical difficulty turning to see blind spot or moving foot from pedal to pedal
- Difficulty understanding signs, traffic signals or pavement markings
- Losing temper more often
- Difficulty parking
- Stopping at green lights or where there is no stop sign
- Using turn signals incorrectly or for no reason
- Forgetting to turn headlights on when appropriate
- Driving too slowly
When discussing driving habits, remember to listen to your loved one’s concerns and feelings on the subject. If possible, look for solutions that could keep your loved one driving safely longer, such as getting new glasses or only driving during the day.But in the event that you or a loved one are injured due to an elderly driver who may be unfit to drive, speak to an automobile accident attorney like Hupy and Abraham right away. Call 800-800-5678 or start a live chat anytime at Hupy.com.