Your parent has been driving for 60 or more years. In the past few months, though, you suspect he or she can no longer safely operate a motor vehicle.
Review these signs that an older family member should hang up the car keys to avoid serious auto accident injury.
Your parent may struggle to navigate the roads if he or she becomes confused, agitated or easily distracted. Some elders become afraid to drive and lose confidence after one or more minor incidents. Others may be unable to respond quickly to a hazard in the road.
Vehicle red flags
Do you notice that your parent’s vehicle has new dents, scratches and scrapes? Sometimes, he or she does not remember how these dings occurred. You might also find out that your parent has had recent fender benders or traffic tickets, even if he or she has always been a safe driver.
If you have concerns, try taking a ride in the car with your parent. You may notice that he or she:
• Drives too slow or too fast
• Fails to stop at red lights and intersections
• Needs an environment without normal distractions such as road noise to concentrate on driving
• Gets angry at other drivers or even shows “road rage”
• Has difficulty seeing traffic and road signs
• Lacks the strength to turn the wheel precisely
• Confuses the gas and brake pedals
If you or other family members notice that an older loved one displays these issues, you should start the conversation about finding other modes of transportation.