When Seniors Should Stop Driving

When Seniors Should Stop Driving

How do you know when someone should stop driving? Everyone ages differently and age is not the only determining factor of someone’s driving ability. Demographics aren’t nearly as important as motor skills, alertness, vision, and reflexes. It’s important to understand warning signs for seniors to stop driving and how to help a loved one adjust to a life without a license.

Health Conditions Affecting Driving Ability

Health conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, hearing or vision issues, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, and diabetes are all common for seniors and all contribute to weakened driving ability. In addition, certain medications may hinder one’s driving ability. Side effects like drowsiness and pain or discomfort mean you should not be behind the wheel.

Signs to Stop Driving

There are some very clear indicators that it’s no longer safe for that individual to drive. This can include:

  • Stopping at inappropriate times

It is a clear warning sign that this individual should not be driving if they are stopping for a green light, when there is no stop sign, or at any random place in the road.

  • Running stop signs or red lights

Running a red light is even more dangerous than stopping at a green light. If your reflexes are slow, it may become easy for you to miss stop signs or not stop in time.

  • Not understanding traffic signals

There’s always an exception, for example, a very confusing intersection. But generally speaking, it’s definitely a warning sign if someone is not understanding the basic rules of traffic lights and intersections.

  • Having accidents or trouble parking

Accidents happen to everyone! However, it’s alarming if someone is getting into fender benders often or they are unable to park without causing damage to someone’s vehicle.

  • Getting lost

We have all been there! Getting lost in a new city is almost a rite of passage. However, it is concerning if an individual is getting lost in an area where they should be comfortable driving.

How to Adjust

Having a license and being able to drive is a sign of independence. It makes sense as to why seniors may be reluctant in handing over the keys. However, with encouragement and reassurance, the transition can be smooth. Be sure to suggest other transportation options such as reaching out to friends and family, senior health transportation services, and public transit.

Are you covered?

Even if you are the best of drivers, accidents can still happen. If you are interested in exploring coverage options that are specific for your needs, fill out this form or contact us at 615-964-5250 to speak with a top agent!


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