Addressing driving safety with older adults

transportation care

Getting older doesn’t necessarily mean a person’s driving days are over. But it’s important to plan ahead and take steps to ensure the safety of your loved ones on the road. If they are no longer able to drive safely, you can guide them toward transportation options that meet their mobility needs.

If you think you need to have a conversation with an older driver about his or her driving abilities, remember that many older drivers look at driving as a form of independence. Bringing up the subject of their driving abilities can make some drivers defensive. So be prepared with your observations and questions, and suggest alternative transportation options if necessary.

Do you need to have a talk with an older driver?

Answering the following questions may help you decide if you need to initiate a conversation with an older driver about driving safely:

  • Are they getting lost on routes that should be familiar?
  • Have you noticed new dents or scratches to the vehicle?
  • Have they received a ticket for a driving violation?
  • Have they experienced a near-miss or crash recently?
  • Have they been advised to limit/stop driving due to a health reason?
  • Are they overwhelmed by road signs and markings while driving?
  • Are they taking any medication that might affect driving safely?
  • Have they received a ticket for impaired driving?
  • Have you noticed them speeding or driving too slowly for no reason?
  • Are they suffering from any illnesses that may affect driving skills?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, be prepared to take steps appropriate to the situation, which might include talking with your loved one about safe driving and/or ceasing driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers free material to help you learn more about how to recognize and discuss changes in your older loved one’s driving. First, click HERE to learn how to understand and influence older drivers. You’ll also find tips on talking about driving with an older driver  by clicking HERE. Also consider that a number of older people, when asked, would listen more to a health professional than their family. Determine which best fits your situation.

If you need more help…

If you determine that your loved one should no longer be behind the wheel, Care & Comfort at Home provides transportation services that can help. Click HERE to learn more about our services, and click HERE to contact us today!

Information courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).