You have been driving since you were old enough to see over the steering wheel, but now your kids want you to hand over your keys. They might be upset because you had an accident or two, or worried about that time you got lost. If you are like the other 33 million licensed drivers over the age of 65, you want to keep driving as long as possible – you have places to go and things to do. So, how do you know when it is time to stop driving? Here are a few signs:
- Rising insurance rates, or multiple tickets or warnings
- Damage to your car
- Reluctance to drive or difficulty driving at night
- Comments by friends and family
- Dangerous driving habits
Most people think of teenagers when they think of dangerous driving habits, but seniors sometimes cut corners behind the wheel. An older person might skip the seat belt, for example, or drive more slowly than conditions warrant.
Certain risk factors increase the odds for having an auto accident while you grow older. These risk factors do not prevent you from driving, but you should consider your risk factors when deciding if it is time to turn in the keys. These five risk factors include:
- Health conditions
- Vision impairment
- Hearing impairment
- Prescription drug use
- Alcohol use
If you live independently and are not ready to give up driving, consider in-home care. These compassionate professionals are glad to run errands, go to the grocery, take you to the doctor and perform other driving tasks for you.