Hints, Tips & Advice

When is Old Too Old?

The rules for obtaining one’s driver’s license are clearly defined in law.

You reach a certain age, pass a test or two, and you’re now licensed to drive a 4,000-pound machine down a highway toward a destination in hopes of not hitting anything on your way.

That may sound simple — but there’s no such regulation or test about when it’s time to stop driving.

More than 7,700 seniors were killed, and more than 257,000 were treated in emergency departments after a crash in 2017, according to the latest annual statistics from the Centers for Diseases Control.

That’s an average of 20 seniors killed and 700 injured each day.

Common signs of aging may affect your loved one’s ability to drive, including diminishing eyesight, increase in confusion and slowing of reflexes.

That can make it difficult to safely navigate the roads, manage intersections or avoid hazards.

Below are 20 things to look for in elder drivers that might be a warning that it is time to consider hanging up the keys:

  1. Decrease in confidence while driving
  2. Difficulty turning to see when backing up
  3. Easily distracted while driving
  4. Other drivers often honk horns
  5. Hitting curbs
  6. Scrapes or dents on the car, mailbox or garage
  7. Increased agitation or irritation when driving
  8. Failure to notice traffic signs or important activity on the side of the road
  9. Trouble navigating turns
  10. Driving at inappropriate speeds
  11. Uses a “copilot”
  12. Bad judgment making turns
  13. Delayed response to unexpected situations
  14. Moving into wrong lane or difficulty maintaining lane position
  15. Confusion at exits
  16. Ticketed moving violations or warnings
  17. Getting lost in familiar places
  18. Car accident
  19. Failure to stop at stop sign or red light
  20. Stopping in traffic for no apparent reason

Knowing when to hang up the keys is a tough decision and often one that requires the help of a loved one.

For more help on having that difficult conversation, click here for information on how to talk to your loved one about giving up the car keys.

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