When Should My Elderly Parents Stop Driving?

elderly parents driving

Concerning driving, the main concerns that medical professionals have are the anti-anxiety medications, narcotics, and sleeping pills. This is due to the conditions that these medications all treat because these drugs have side effects that make may compromise a person’s ability to drive a car. Any substance that impairs a driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely increases the chance of a car accident.

Within health wellness comes understanding the changes that come with age. As drivers reach their senior years, it is important to monitor their driving abilities. The most concerning factors are their reflex responses and any loss of vision. If either of these two factors significantly deteriorate, driving may no longer be safe. This will endanger the senior drivers and others who take to the road. It is also vital to routinely check on a senior driver who has age-related health conditions such as dementia.

How to Bring Up the Subject with Senior Drivers

Seniors sometimes fight giving up driving because that admits old age, takes away freedom, and affects their independence. It is important for adult children not to blame them for anything or make them feel bad for any choices they have made because aggravating them will make the situation worse. It may be beneficial to mention you wanting to help them more or their medical providers suggesting they should not drive as much. If senior drivers begin to make up their own rules when they are on the road, that may raise some concerns. It is time to have a conversation with senior drivers if they do not obey by the street signs or traffic lights, they often get lost or need direction, or are regularly getting in car accidents or fender-benders.

What are Some Health Concerns in Senior Drivers?

Some health issues that could be a concern with senior drivers include the following:

  • Dementia
  • Problems with hearing or vision
  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes

Is the Age of the Driver Significant?

Age is just a number, but not when it comes to driving. Medical professionals have stated that when a driver reaches about 85, it is natural for the body to not be as strong as it used to be. Even the healthiest people will begin to slow down and not be as responsive or in touch with their senses as they used to be. The main concern here is reaction times, hearing issues, and vision loss. All these factors are normal for the body to experience and cannot be fought forever. At some point, it is in the best interest of everyone that seniors decide not to drive anymore.

When is It Time to Talk to Senior Drivers about Giving Up Driving?

The following are guidelines indicating it is time to suggest to a senior that they should give up driving:

  • When they cannot drive with children in the car.
  • When they cannot drive at night or bad weather.
  • When they can drive only in familiar places.
  • When they can drive only a certain distance from home.
  • When they cannot drive on highways.
  • When they limit distractions such as no radio or cannot talk to passengers while driving.

Media Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Help Adult Children Concerned about Their Elderly Parents Driving

When age and health concerns begin to effect senior drivers, it can be difficult for their grown children to have a conversation with them about driving. This is a time to reflect, think rationally, and make conscious choices. The Delaware County car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello can help you with this sensitive issue. Learn more at a free consultation by filling out an online registration form or calling 610-892-4940. Our office is in Media, Pennsylvania. We represent clients in Media, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, West Chester, and throughout Pennsylvania.