Obtaining a driver’s license is a right of passage that many folks experience in their youth. Once a person has their license in the United States, they do not have to test again to renew their driving privileges.
As people age and continue to drive their reflexes slow down. For many elderly people, driving allows them freedoms that they don’t want to give up. Eventually, they get to a point where they should not be driving but they are reluctant to hang up their keys. Usually, their children have to take their car keys away.
Signs that your parent shouldn’t be driving
Making big life decisions for our parents is complex and very emotional. That’s why it is important to look at the picture objectively. These are some of the signs that your parent should no longer be driving:
- Illness or injury has interfered with their reflexes. Quick reflexes are needed behind the wheel. If mom or dad has lost their quick response time continuing to drive will be dangerous for both them and others who share the roads with them.
- Memory issues can interfere with driving. If your parent often gets lost or forgets where they are going it is time to stop driving.
- Accidents or close calls on the road can be deadly. If your parent keeps having fender benders they really shouldn’t be driving.
- Medications sometimes come with side effects that slow down reaction time. It’s a good idea to review your parent’s prescriptions from time to time and talk to them about their safety behind the wheel.
If your parent exhibits any of the signs above it is time to discuss hanging up their car keys before they cause a serious accident. Unfortunately, no matter how proactive you are with your senior loved ones, you can still get into an accident with another driver who really shouldn’t be on the road. If that happens, make sure that you find out what you can do to recover your losses.