Hints, Tips & Advice

When is Old Too Old?

It seems simple and clear cut regarding when you can obtain a driver’s license – you reach a certain age, pass a test or two, and viola, you’re now licensed by your state to drive a 4,000 lbs. speeding machine down a highway towards a destination in hopes of not hitting anything on your way. Well, as simple as it is to obtain that privilege, it is equally difficult to have any type of regulation that says it is now time for you to give up that right to drive.


Nearly 20% of all drivers are elderly, as per recent government statistics. That’s one heck of a lot of drivers! And, as we also know, not all old drivers are bad drivers, just as not all younger drivers are good drivers. The difficulty comes in when we need to decide who should be behind the wheel and who should not.


It may be labeled a form of ageism to require Motor Vehicle Administrations to have mandatory testing at certain ages, though mandatory testing is required of young folks to obtain their licenses; but not again unless they move to another state. And yet, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety keeps hoards of stats that indicate that elders clearly do have difficulty with certain aspects of normal, everyday driving, (ex., managing intersections).


Certain aspects of aging do obviously come into play: diminishing eyesight, increase in confusion (ex., driving the wrong way down one-way streets), and slowing of reflexes. Certain tests might help to monitor those areas, yet as that saying goes, “on any given day…”


It seems the controversy is not going to be resolved anytime soon. With that in mind, 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, oftentimes, one that requires the help of a loved-one. Help your loved-ones stay safe when the time comes.


(Reference: www.aol.com/article/when-are-you-tto-old-to-drive-a-car/)


Each Visiting Angels agency is a franchise that is independently owned and operated. The Franchisor, Living Assistance Services Inc., does not control or manage the day to day business operations of any Visiting Angels franchised agency.