Intelligent, Aggressive Representation For The Injured And Disabled

Attorneys Gardberg & Kemmerly
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Is it time for my parent to stop driving?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2024 | Parents, Personal Injury |

As our parents age, we often find ourselves in the role of caregiver. One of the most challenging aspects of this role can be addressing concerns about their ability to drive safely. 

The risks senior drivers face

Older drivers face unique risks on the road. Age-related changes in vision, hearing and reaction time can increase the chances of confusion, forgetfulness or dangerous decisions. Additionally, certain medications and health conditions can impair driving ability. 

It’s also important to consider the increased likelihood of severe injury in the event of an accident due to age-related physical vulnerabilities.

Further, according to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drivers over the age of 70 have a higher crash fatality rate than younger adults. Every day, 20 older drivers die in crashes, while hundreds more suffer injuries.

Signs your parent may need to limit driving

It is crucial to recognize the signs that your parent may need to stop or limit their driving. These signs may include:

  • Frequent close calls or minor accidents
  • Difficulty staying in the lane
  • Trouble reading signs or navigating directions
  • Slow response to unexpected situations
  • Noticeable declines in vision or memory
  • Increased aggression

Remember, these are just a few examples. Everyone is unique, so pay attention to changes in your parent’s demeanor and driving behavior.

Approaching the subject compassionately

Discussing driving limitations with your parent can be a sensitive topic. Here are a few pointers:

  • Choose a calm, comfortable setting for the conversation
  • Express your concerns honestly but gently
  • Discuss their statistically higher risk of suffering a serious injury in a car accident
  • Offer alternatives like public transportation, limited driving routes or rides from family members

Keep in mind that for many adults, driving is a mark of their independence and freedom, and giving that up can be very difficult. Thus, remember that the goal is to ensure their safety while preserving their dignity.

Worrying about our parents’ safety as they age is complicated and stressful. However, addressing concerns about their driving sooner rather than later can potentially save their lives and the lives of others. It may be a difficult conversation, but it is one that comes from a place of love and concern. 



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