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When It Is Time to Hang Up the Keys

 Austin_MaestroSpeaking to your aging parents about driving is something you may have been avoiding. You have an idea that your parents shouldn’t be on the road, but broaching the subject can be difficult. Independence is important as we age, and the thought of asking anyone to give up a bit of their freedom can be hard to do. Here are signs that will help you decide when is the right time to have “the talk.”

  1. Several close calls are a clue that it may be time to hang up the keys. It isn’t unusual for people to have near misses or close calls, but when those instances become increasingly common, it’s a sign that there needs to be a discussion about continued driving.
  2. If your parents or aging loved ones frequently get lost when they are in familiar territory, they are posing a danger to themselves.
  3. As we age, we begin to not exactly lose our sight, but lose our clarity of vision. Even with eyeglasses, night vision can be impaired. If you notice an elderly loved one squinting, rubbing their forehead or eyes, or frequently blinking when they drive, have a talk about their eye health and true ability to drive safely.
  4. When we get older, our reaction time slows. Pay attention when you are driving with your aging loved one. Notice how long it takes them to respond to normal traffic situations. If their response time seems slower than normal, it may be time to take the keys away.
  5. Physical conditions can make it hard to drive properly. Your loved one may have stiff joints or arthritis that can make it painful to drive effectively. If you notice that your parent is having a difficult time turning around or even moving their foot from one pedal to the other, driving is no longer safe.

There is nothing that says that any of these warning signs means an end to driving forever, but it should bring rise to a discussion. At the very least, your loved one should be examined by a doctor to be sure that they have no physical condition that is impairing their ability to drive safely. Another option is to enroll your parent in a driver-improvement course designed specifically for the elderly population.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, call our offices today. Our personal injury attorneys will review you case at no charge and advise you how to proceed. Call now.


Posted In: Elderly Drivers
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