Are you the child of senior parents how are still driving around town locally? Just two years ago, my 75 year old mother and her girlfriend from church wanted to drive from Roosevelt, NY to Norfolk VA, alone. My siblings and I were on pins and needles. My mother is an excellent driver but there are physical changes occurring naturally with age, and they impact her ability to respond while driving. She has driven this route many times, but now she is much older. Her ability to respond and react to hazards are a huge concern for us.
The State of Virginia has developed a website “Recognizing the Signs” www.granddriver.net
The motor vehicle list some of those signs that caregivers should be looking for when deciding or whether or not to continue to allow senior to continue driving are as follows:
- Forgets to fasten seat belt before starting the car
- Confused between pressing the gas pedal and stopping the car in stressful situations
- Merging into traffic has become very challenging on busy streets and highways
- Limited sight, especially at night
- Ignores or “misses” stop signs and other traffic signals
- Reacts slowly to sirens and flashing lights of emergency vehicles
- Weaves, straddles lanes, drifts into other lanes or changes lanes without signaling
- Gets lost or disoriented easily, even in familiar places
- (2) or more traffic tickets, warnings, accidents in the past two years
If you are concerned remember you are not alone. This is a very uncomfortable conversation and feelings can get hurt. This could possibly be the person that drove you home from the hospital the day you were born and now you are telling them you are no longer comfortable with them driving.
The website on Granddriver.net has also, set up a Granddriver Safety Questionnaire you can review with them or you can suggest an appointment with a trained professional who can evaluate their driving skills.
Remember safety is your first priority, and Kalfus & Nachman--we want you and your loved one's to be safe....