When to hang up the car keys

We can probably all remember the day we first got a driver’s license: the promise of road trips, fun times with friends, and most of all, independence! It’s that last part, independence, that still means everything to a senior. Yet when vision or health problems, slower reaction times, or even cognitive decline become something we can’t ignore, it may be time to stop driving.

A best case scenario is having seniors recognize their own warning signs and voluntarily stop driving. Perhaps a close call in traffic, a few dents in the car, or even a ticket for speeding may clue them in. A worst case scenario is a crash that kills or maims them and innocent drivers and their passengers.

For family members and caregivers, this is a topic to look into now and make plans before it goes too far. Driver Improvement courses are available and usually offer insurance discounts. Be sure to keep driving in mind when visiting your medical providers, who can help determine whether health issues may impact your safety behind the wheel. If dementia is a concern, bringing a doctor into the discussion with family members may be the best method, and they can make the call rather than a son, daughter or grandchild.

Keeping our roads safe is a responsibility we all share. If you see that a senior you know, whether family member, neighbor or even a stranger, is a danger to you or others as a driver, talk to someone! Talk to them, their spouse or adult child, or even report it to law enforcement if necessary.

For a list of warning signs that a senior may be dangerous behind the wheel and what you can do about it, check out the articles below:

20 Warning Signs That an Elderly Driver Is No Longer Safe Behind the Wheel
Should Someone With Dementia Be Driving?

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