4 Signs That It May Be Time to Stop Driving

4 Signs That It May Be Time to Stop Driving

Has an aging loved one recently had a car accident? Maybe it was just a fender bender, but it may point to a larger issue. Have you noticed dents or scrapes on their car, curb, or fences? No one wants to be told that they are no longer fit to drive, but by intervening you may be saving the life of the one you love or the life of a stranger. Here are 4 important signs that it may be the best move to put the brakes on driving.

1. Trouble Seeing. This may seem obvious, but unless a senior explicitly tells you they are having problems with their eye sight, you may have difficulty figuring it out. A person may be having difficulty seeing while driving if they are getting lost in familiar areas, missing turns or exists, or not following traffic signals. There are many diseases and eye issues that come along with aging, and all of these can affect the safe driving of an adult.

2. Trouble Hearing. If a person cannot hear well, they may not be able to hear a horn honking in warning, the blaring of a police car or ambulance as it barrels down the road, or notice strange noises coming from their own car. It is recommended that persons over the age of 50 have their hearing checked every three years. Suggest that the aging adult speak with their doctor, as sometimes there are tools that can help them if they have hearing loss.

3. Trouble Moving. Stiff joints, arthritis, and muscle pain can affect the reaction times of anyone. Imagine not being able to move your foot quickly enough from the gas pedal to the brake pedal, or not being able to feel how much pressure you are putting on the gas pedal. If you cannot easily and quickly look over your shoulder, how will you change lanes or merge safely? These can cause serious safety problems and should not be overlooked or taken lightly. Hand controls are available to put into cars if someone suffers from leg problems. Exercise and a healthy diet also ensure that joints and muscles remain loose and pliable.

4. Trouble Focusing. If a loved one gets easily confused, lost, or has a hard time remembering daily tasks, it’s probably safe to say that they are not driving safely. Is your loved one easily distracted, forgetful, or easily angered? Cognitive decline can slowly creep in to the minds of our loved ones and we don’t always notice the signs right away. These factors make for a very unstable and unpredictable driver.

If you notice these signs in a loved one, or perhaps yourself, AARP offers a Driver’s Safety Course that can evaluate if it’s still safe to be on the road. Perhaps all you need is a refresher course on the rules of safe driving. If you think you may have to have that difficult talk with a loved one, AARP also has an online seminar called We Need To Talkthat can help walk you through the steps of how to approach this difficult subject. 

Related Articles

Bilingualism Delays Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

We’re all familiar with the benefits of speaking multiple languages. Better job prospects, enriching travel experiences, and improved brain power to name just a few. But in the past five years, we’re starting to learn it can play a vital role in keeping our brains healthy, too. Recent research has …

Read More

Alzheimer’s & Memory Loss: How to help parents with memory loss

  Alzheimer’s and memory loss is challenging for any family. It’s hard for those with the disease to communicate their needs, and that makes it difficult to create a comfortable life for them. You want to support your aging parent in any way possible but it can be tough to …

Read More

San Diego's Trusted Choice For In-Home Care

If you or a loved one is ready to take the next steps to learn more about in-home care services, schedule an in-home consultation.

We're hiring

If you are passionate about providing loving and caring
services for seniors, we want to talk to you!