As people get older, it’s completely normal for them to start declining in various aspects of their life, especially driving. Every year, accidents and tragedies happen as a result of elderly people driving when they really shouldn’t be. If you’re in this situation or have a family member that you’re wondering about, then you’ve come to the right place. Take a look below at a few of the signs that might indicate that it’s time to hang up the keys.
Delayed Response Time
Many times, one of the first things people notice about themselves or their elderly family members is that they have a delayed response time. Some situations that call for a quick response time include the car in front of you abruptly braking, stopping early in bad conditions, and quickly stopping if something or someone is in the road. While it might only be a few second delay and might not seem like a big deal, it could be the difference between coming out unscathed or getting into an accident.
Another big indicator that it might be time to stop driving is getting confused while on the road. It’s essential to drive with a clear mind and having a large amount of confusion can make things dangerous for you and those around you. Those that get confused when behind the wheel often find themselves doing many dangerous things, including misunderstanding road signs and cutting other drivers off. There’s nothing wrong with getting confused as long as you’re taking the steps needed to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
It might also be time to stop driving if you or your elderly family member are having a hard time focusing and ignoring distractions. It can take just a few seconds to get into an accident, so it’s important that you’re staying focused on driving and what the other drivers are doing around you. Some common distractions include looking for things in the car, playing with the radio, trying to use the phone, or looking at everything but the road. If these things keep happening, the chances of an accident increase quite a bit.
Getting Lost Often
Getting lost happens sometimes, but it can become a serious issue if it’s happening all of the time. This is especially true if the elderly person is getting lost in areas that they drive every day. Since this is a huge sign that the person should stop driving, you should talk to them or reach out to your doctor if it’s happening to you. It might be a hard conversation, but it’s essential to help keep you and everyone around you safe.
If you’re frequently hitting objects, then there’s a good chance that you need to stop driving. While hitting things every once in a while happens, it becomes a serious issue when it’s happening all of the time, and this is especially true if you’re hitting other people’s property or any pedestrians. Once you start hitting objects, it’s important to consider why it’s happening and what can be done to stop it. If it’s happening because the person is older and has a decline in their driving, then they should refrain from getting behind the wheel.
Multiple Close Calls
Another big indication that a senior citizen should stop driving is when they start having a lot of close calls. This could be anything from getting too close to cars to almost hitting pedestrians. These things can happen every once in a while, but it shouldn’t be happening every time the person drives. Not only should you talk to the doctor, but it’s important that the person starts getting rides instead of letting them drive themselves.
One final thing that could tell you if a senior citizen should stop driving is if they are unsafe while on the roads. Some of these things include changing lanes without paying attention, running stop signs or lights, and ignoring important road signs. The person might get upset with you for suggesting they stop driving, but the most important thing is that everyone is staying safe.
If you or someone you know does these things, then it might be time to stop driving. If you still aren’t sure, you should make an appointment with your doctor to talk about your concerns. Even though it might be hard to come to terms with, hanging up your keys when you can no longer drive safely can help protect everyone on the road, including yourself.