When to Stop Driving if You’re an Older Person

An Auto Insurance Special Topic

Implementing change will be extremely difficult for anyone.

Even though maintaining a diet, exercise routine, or educational program requires persistence, doing so successfully leads to satisfying changes. When an older driver is forced to give up driving, the loss of independence that comes with it is painful—very painful.

However, ordering a senior to stop driving might occasionally be a necessary evil.

A senior driver is more likely to endanger others on the road when they begin to exhibit a decline in their physical or mental abilities, such as poor eyesight, hearing loss, slower reflexes, arthritis, diabetes, and most definitely Parkinson’s Disease and dementia. Additionally, drug dependence poses a risk to the driver, other drivers, passengers, and passengers as well as pedestrians. Examples of these drugs include anti-anxiety medications, narcotics, and sleeping pills.

According to insurance sources, the number of people killed in car crashes rises with age over 70, which emphasizes the safety concerns of older drivers.

Take a look at some of the warning signs that may indicate it’s no longer a good idea to be the navigator behind the wheel of a car:

• Tendency to become distracted

• slow to react

• difficulty staying within lines of the lane

• difficulty switching to proper traffic lane

• hitting curbs

• scratching or denting the car or banging into the garage or curbside mailbox

• Side sweeping other vehicles

• Driving excessively fast or slow

• Not stopping on a red light or by a stop sign

• Stopping at a green light or when there is not a stop sign

• Tendency to get lost

You should prepare for the conversation before telling a senior driver to stop driving because it is such a sensitive subject and a change that will have such an impact on their life.

Make a list of the indications that it’s time to stop driving, whether you have seen them yourself or others have.

Plan for alternative modes of transportation that your loved one can rely on after giving up driving, such as taxi services, friends, family members, volunteers from a senior center, public bus or train services, and so on.

Consider ways your senior can fill the void in life that will result from not having access to the keys.

Most importantly, always remember to be sensitive. Show your loved one that you respect and support him or her while also being kind and understanding of how difficult a significant change in one’s life can be.

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