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Elderly Parents and Driving: When It’s Time To Take The Keys

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No one looks forward to addressing the fact that their elderly parents should cease driving. It’s a difficult hurdle to cross but, it is an important one. Seniors generally do not wish to give up driving, since it is asking to give up part of their freedom. However, it is necessary to address some of the signs that indicate it is time for an elderly parent to stop driving, as outlined below.

1. Slower Response Rates

It is natural for seniors to exhibit longer responses to many things, from communicating to movement. While elders do not necessarily need to have the reflexes of a teen in order to drive, they must have the ability to respond to the many sudden traffic changes and react quickly enough to emergency situations.

2. Poor Eyesight

A seniors auto reactions that aren’t adequately corrected might be a sign of poor eyesight and that it is time to quit driving. Whether you ask a DMV agent or a car accident lawyer in West Palm Beach, they might both suggest that even if a senior has passed a driving test eye exam, they must still demonstrate that they see well enough to manage driving safely.

3. Take A Look At Their Car

If there are more noticeable dents and dings on the car, this is a sign that they are not driving effectively and indicative that a major accident is just waiting to happen.

Concentration problems are evident when there are many near misses occurring on the road. Everyone can experience a rare close call, but an elder who is having them with regularity should not be driving. Also, if anyone is fearful of being in a car that a senior is driving, it is time for them to stop.

4. Physical Limitations

Physical impairments that cause difficulties maneuvering the car, such as turning or merging effectively, are other indicators that a senior should not be driving. All drivers need to be cognizant of the surrounding traffic and able to adjust appropriately.

5. Getting Lost Regularly

This is another sign that it is time for an elder to stop driving. Anyone can lose their way, but a senior who gets confused on a regular basis may be experiencing loss of memory that may seriously impair their ability to drive safely.

Higher Accident Danger

Accident rates, as well as insurance costs, generally rise around the age of 65. The main reason that more accidents occur after this age is the inability to handle all of the tasks involved in driving properly. Also, keep in mind that seniors have a 4-time higher accident and 9-time fatality rate than other age groups.

One of the more notable tragedies occurred in Santa Monica, California, when an 89-year-old man mistakenly put his foot on the gas rather than the brake at a farmer’s market. As a result, a staggering ten people were killed and over 70 injured as the out of control car roared through the blocked off street. The man was convicted of manslaughter as a result of this very unfortunate catastrophe.

If there is any doubt about an elder parent’s ability to drive safely, take car trips with them to see how well they are managing. Be ready to step in and drive if necessary. Do not let them drive if it has been apparent that they are unable to do so competently. If you need help deterring them from driving, seek the advice of a counselor who specializes in dealing with senior citizens.

Driving for her mother gives Nadine Swayne the experience and compassion to present this information. At Steinger, Iscoe & Greene, you can find a car accident lawyer in West Palm Beach that can assist with legal representation if your elderly parent has been involved in a collision. They are committed to fighting for the rights of their clients.

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