No one wants to be the one to step in and tell mom or dad that it’s time to stop driving. Driving is an activity that symbolizes independence and mobility. Because of this, some seniors tend to drive far longer than they should. On the other hand, you want your parent to be safe. You also want to ensure the safety of other drivers on the road.
So how do you know when to approach your parent about the possibility of hanging up the keys for good? First, start by keeping a close eye on your parent’s driving habits. You will likely have a much easier time persuading mom or dad to reconsider getting behind the wheel if you have some concrete reasons to back up your position.
Signs to Look For
Monitor your parent’s driving habits and keep watch for any of the following behaviors.
We all have close calls on occasion. When near-accidents become a frequent occurrence, however, it’s only a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt.
Unexplained Vehicle Damage
All cars get dinged and scratched. If your parent’s car consistently turns up with unexplained dents and damage, though, this could be a sign that he or she is bumping into other vehicles and backing into concrete barriers and pillars without realizing it.
Getting Lost in Familiar Places
As we age, we all tend to become forgetful. At some point, however, typical forgetfulness can cross the line into early dementia. If your parent becomes disoriented in his or her own neighborhood, driving is probably too dangerous. It can also create unnecessary anxiety in your loved one.
Spend some time as a passenger in your parent’s car. If your mom or dad is slow to brake or fails to perceive other drivers’ movements right away, these delayed responses could eventually lead to accidents.
Bouts of Road Rage
Observe your parent’s attitude when he or she drives. If your parent becomes too easily frustrated by the behavior of other drivers or gets enraged when people pass or honk, they might not be safe behind the wheel.
Although driving seems like a minimally physically taxing activity, it’s not as sedentary as you might think. Consider how often you must twist around to check your blind spot or how quickly you have to move to slam on the brakes when another driver cuts you off. If your parent has difficulty moving around or is plagued by inflamed joints or other ailments, he or she might be taking too many risks by getting behind the wheel.
Minnesota Estate Planning and Probate Law Firm
Although it’s tough to broach the topic of putting away the car keys with an elderly parent, safety is key. Fortunately, most communities have transit systems and even mobility networks in place for seniors. Once your mom and dad experiences the convenience of getting around without the hassle of driving, he or she might actually prefer it over getting behind the wheel.
Call the Minnesota probate and estate planning attorneys at Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates, LLC today at (651) 968-1457 to learn more and to discuss your case.
This website has been prepared by Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates, LLC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.