Stop Driving Representation for an elderly

Six Signs It’s Time to Stop Driving

March 31, 2021 12:07 am Published by

No one wants to give up their freedom and independence, especially if they still feel as young as they did 15 years ago. Unfortunately, older and impaired drivers can cause serious harm in Tacoma, WA. It’s easy to imagine that you’re just as capable of driving as you used to be, but older drivers often have serious blind spots—sometimes literally.

How do you know when it’s time to give up your license and let someone else do the driving? Here are six signs:

  • You’ve reached age 85: Age isn’t everything, but it can definitely affect your ability to drive. No matter how great of shape you’re in at age 85, most people experience significant declines in their visual acuity and their reaction times. You could put someone else in danger without even realizing it.
  • Side-swiping cars when driving or parking: Since age affects our vision, reaction times and other physical abilities, it’s important to pay attention to the effects of your driving. If you’ve side-swiped other cars while driving or parking, that’s a strong sign you’re unable to handle daily driving demands. It doesn’t always have to do with age, either—sometimes health conditions make it unsafe to drive.
  • Your family and friends are concerned: No one wants to hear “Mom, I think you should give up the keys,” but if your family and friends are worried, try to listen to them. Giving up driving can feel like giving up your independence, but do your best to look at it from the other side. Would you be able to forgive yourself if you injured someone else—perhaps even including your own loved ones? Luckily, there are plenty of resources for older or impaired adults, so you won’t have to sacrifice your independence.
  • You run red lights and stop signs: If you’ve noticed that you’ve run red lights and stop signs more than once every few years, it’s time to consider putting the keys away. Even if you’re driving at a safe speed, collisions can be dangerous or deadly. Consider visiting your healthcare provider to discuss whether your issues are a once-in-a-blue-moon anomaly, or if you need to give up driving for good.
  • You’ve gotten confused about traffic signals: Confusion at traffic signals isn’t limited to running red lights or stop signs. One of the clearest signs that someone is ready to retire their license is when they get confused at green lights. Are you having trouble remembering what green means in the moment? This is a strong sign it’s time to let your kids, grandkids or a reliable transit service drive you around.
  • You have severe health conditions: Finally, no matter what your age, your health conditions may make it difficult for you to drive. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, strokes, dementia, diabetes and more can make driving dangerous.

Talk to your doctor if you’re an older driver in Tacoma, WA and worried about whether your skills behind the wheel aren’t what they used to be, then call Around the Sound for all your local transportation needs.

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