When Is It Time to Give Up Driving?

July 20, 2017 5:21 pm Published by

Anyone who drives while distracted, tired, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or when suffering from a hearing or visual impairment can pose a danger on the road. However, couple one or more of these with the changes brought on by old age, and the possibility for driving danger increases. The key to preventing accidents is to keep an eye out for the signs that your elderly family member may be an unsafe driver—signs include an uptick in traffic citations, new car damage, changes in driving behavior and people coming to you with concerns.

Is it time for you or a loved one to use a transportation service in Tacoma, WA? Here are a few risk factors that suggest an elderly driver should seriously consider giving up driving:

  • Health and medical conditions: All health concerns need addressing, whether it’s something small like light muscle twitching from a nerve condition or something more severe like dementia. An aging person does not need to be diagnosed with a major health condition to be a liability behind the wheel.
  • Physical ailments: When physical ailments like body shakes and joint pain present and persist in older folks, it could be time to weigh their driving risks. If they appear physically unable to handle their vehicle, take measures to discuss driving safety with them, either on your own or with their physician present.
  • Mental confusion: “Confused Elderly Driver Crashes Through Café—Mistakes Gas Pedal for the Brake.” Don’t let this headline be about you or someone you care about. Recommend a doctor appointment if you notice any sort of mental confusion in an older driver.
  • Taking certain medications: Prescription drugs that cause drowsiness, blurred vision or headaches are likely to have a greater effect on the older population. And taking several prescriptions in a day—like many elderly people do—can cause drug interactions and side effects, which can interfere with safe driving. If many medications are being prescribed, it could signal that it’s time to take advantage of a transportation service in Tacoma, WA.
  • Hearing problems: With old age comes hearing loss, but since it tends to come on gradually, a person may not realize that it’s happening. Schedule regular hearing tests for your loved one to ensure they are hearing car horns, sirens and squealing tires when driving.
  • Eye health deterioration: Visual impairment will hinder a person’s ability to drive safely. Since vision does not get better with age, make sure the elderly drivers you know are getting regular eye exams.

Most older drivers have been behind the wheel for many decades, which can make giving up their driving privileges a hard thing to do; they feel as though they are handing over a part of their independence. At Around the Sound/TransPro, we understand how difficult it can be to talk to an older family member about their driving. When it’s time, we’d be honored to be your loved one’s go-to safe and reliable transportation service in Tacoma, WA.

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