For most of us, driving means freedom and independence. Understandably, surrendering one’s car keys and making the decision not to drive anymore can feel like a painful loss of independence for many seniors. But, as we age, cognitive functioning and reaction times can slow, impairing our ability to drive safely, and potentially endangering ourselves and others.
Here are 10 signs it may be time to stop driving, according to the AARP:
- Almost crashing, with frequent “close calls”
- Finding dents and scrapes on the car, on fences, mailboxes, garage doors, curbs, etc.
- Getting lost, especially in familiar locations
- Having trouble seeing or following traffic signals, road signs, and pavement markings
- Responding more slowly to unexpected situations, or having trouble moving your foot from the gas to the brake pedal; confusing the two pedals
- Misjudging gaps in traffic at intersections and on highway entrance and exit ramps
- Experiencing road rage or causing other drivers to honk or complain
- Easily becoming distracted or having difficulty concentrating while driving
- Having difficulty turning around to check the rear view while backing up or changing lanes
- Receiving multiple traffic tickets or “warnings” from law enforcement officers
If you notice these signs in yourself or in a loved one, it may be time to stop driving. The idea of giving up driving as a selfless act of consideration for the safety of others on the road may help ease feelings of loss of independence.
Many towns and cities have transportation services that shuttle people to and from doctor’s appointments, shopping centers and other locations. An in-home care provider can also help a great deal, in this regard, accompanying seniors on shopping outings and to doctor appointments. The compassionate elder care professionals at Always Best Care can help seniors with daily tasks and activities at home as well. Contact us for more information about our services at 1-855-470-2273.