Whether a parent, spouse or anyone else, a time will come when you will start questioning if it is safe for them to drive due to their age. How can you know the right time to stop or limit your loved one from driving? Though there are some natural changes that occur in our bodies and brains as we grow older, the question of limiting or stopping your elderly loved one from driving is not about age. This is only determined by the ability of the driver. All you need to do is observe them as they drive and watch out for warning signs of dangerous driving. This is a vital step in determining if it is time to have a discussion with them about hanging up the car keys. A person’s driving ability goes beyond their ability to operate the vehicle physically. One needs cognitive and physical capabilities, good driving behavior and excellent driving skills.
Listed below are some unsafe driving warning signs you should look out for when your elderly loved one is driving.
- Delayed response to unexpected situations
- Less confidence while driving
- Becoming distracted easily when driving
- Having repeated close calls
- Getting dents or scrapes in the garage, car or mailbox
- Driving too slow or too fast for road conditions
- Hitting curbs while making right turns
How to Have a Discussion about Unsafe Driving
If you have noticed some of these unsafe driving warning signs when your loved one is driving, you need to talk to them. So, how should you bring up this sensitive topic of limiting or stopping driving and have a healthy conversation? Here are essential tips you should remember.
Be respectful – find a way to convey your concerns respectfully so that your loved one doesn’t feel like you are crossing your boundaries. Do not back down or be intimidated if you think you have genuine concerns.
Offer them specific examples – other than generalizing the discussion by informing them that they can no longer drive safely, outline certain concerns you have noticed. You will give them an opportunity to think critically and understand why you are concerned.
Find strength in numbers – consider inviting family members or close friends who have noticed some of the unsafe warning signs when your loved one is driving. He or she will know that you all care and will not think that you are nagging. Your loved one might also listen to an impartial party like a driving specialist or doctor.
Help them find alternatives – your loved one is already used to driving themselves around that they have not thought of other transportation alternatives. Be sure to help them find a suitable means of transport or provide rides when possible.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your loved one is safe, so do not feel intimidated if you need to talk with them. Your loved one might experience a sense of loss because of giving up the keys so it is advisable to help them transition slowly until they accept the reality. However, whether they stop or not, ensure that you have insurance for your loved ones who are driving at old age.
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of your insurance needs, please contact us at 561-391-4661.
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