How to Tell if it is Time for a Loved One to Stop Driving

Anyone with a family member who is a senior citizen that still drives likely worries each time they get behind the wheel. Safety is likely always a priority for anyone that is a caregiver. But how can you tell if it is time for a loved one to stop driving? Unfortunately, this is a hard discussion to have for many people and might be one of the most stressful decisions that affects a senior citizen. Often the first step is to do an honest health assessment. Then have “the talk” when it is time to hang up the keys.

In most cases, driving ability and age do not have a direct correlation. No matter what difficulties a senior may be having, there is a good chance that they will not want to give up driving and will never admit that any problems are occurring. This means that a caregiver will often have to be the one that decides if it is time for a loved one to stop driving; however, several key factors may influence this decision. Some factors to keep in mind include physical health, mental health, or any medications they may be taking.

Warning Signs for Senior Driver Safety

Many senior drivers show warning signs that it might be time for them to stop driving. Some of these signs may be noticeable already, like vehicle damage or frequent traffic violations. Although, others may need close monitoring to pinpoint. Some of the warning signs that caregivers should keep a watchful eye for include:

  • Confusion Over Speed Limits
  • Becoming Lost in Familiar Areas
  • Depth Perception Issues
  • Difficulty Changing Lanes or Merging
  • “Near-Misses” or Frequent Potential Accidents
  • Driver Anxiety or Stress
  • Failure to Yield or Follow Traffic Signs/Lights

With these factors in mind, it can become much easier for a caregiver to see how dangerous it may be to allow a loved one to continue driving. To make the decision to stop driving seem mutual, it is essential to ask questions about their own experiences on the road and how driving on their own currently makes them feel. Sometimes presenting your loved one with this evidence and giving them alternative transportation options may encourage them to relinquish their driver’s license willingly. Just remember to be firm about preserving their safety and the safety of other drivers.

Deano’s Senior Transit knows how hard it can be for some seniors to give up their driver’s license. Not only is this a forfeiture of their independence, but it is also an acknowledgment that they are no longer capable of continuing to do the things they love without assistance. As a leading senior transportation provider in Tulsa, we are committed to making mobility and independence safer for the aging populations of Northeast Oklahoma.

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