When is it time to stop driving?
Elder drivers tend to be safer drivers up until about age 70. Many changes that come with age can affect your ability to drive. It seems like only yesterday that you were thrilled by the freedom of getting behind the wheel and driving for the first time! Now that day is long ago and you are unsure if it is time to stop driving. Hopefully, you have talked about this with your family and friends ahead of time.
Most traffic deaths of older drivers occur during the daytime, on weekdays,
and involve other vehicles. ~NIH
7 Questions for Safe Driving
- Can you easily and quickly move your foot from the gas to the brake?
- Are you able to look over your shoulder to check for cars on either side of you?
- Do you have trouble seeing? Is your vision worse at night?
- Have you had a few “fender benders”?
- Do you sometimes get lost or forget where you were going?
- Do you have trouble hearing the sounds of sirens or children playing in the street?
- Do other drivers often appear to be angry with you by honking and gesturing?
Give Up the Keys PLEASE!
Your family or friends have sat you down and asked you to please stop driving. They are afraid for your safety and the safety of other drivers when you are on the road. This is seldom an easy conversation but they wouldn’t ask you to please give up the keys if they didn’t care about you.
Try to remember:
- Your family or friends can tell the police or Department of Motor Vehicles if they think you’re unsafe to drive.
- You both can discuss driving with your doctor to get his or her opinion on your abilities.
- You can offer to participate in a safe driving course offered by AAA, or the Alzheimer’s Association.
Still not sure if it’s time to stop driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has created an excellent series of videos on different age related changes and how they may effect your ability to drive.
Why Should I Care?
After age 70 you are far more likely to die in a multi-car crash that YOU caused.
Have an honest conversation with your family and friends about when to give up the keys
BEFORE it’s too late!