08 Nov When Should a Senior Citizen Stop Driving?
Most people want to drive for as long as they are able. It provides a lot of independence that many non-drivers lack. Sadly, there will come a time when senior citizens will have to give up that privilege for their own safety. Everyone is different when it comes to driving, but here are some signs that a senior citizen might want to reconsider getting behind the wheel again.
Too Many Close Calls
Just about everyone has the occasional near-miss while they are driving. People lose control of their vehicles on slippery roads or drift too close to other drivers on the highway. It happens to even the best drivers, but if it’s happening regularly due to your negligence, it may be time to give up your driving privileges. It will only be a matter of time before one of those close calls results in a serious accident.
Unexplained Dents and Scratches
Most people will remember if they dent or scratch their automobile, especially if they do so in an accident. If you notice dents and scratches in your car that you don’t remember receiving, you may have suffered a collision of some kind and not realized it. This goes double for those who have older loved ones who are still driving. Keep an eye out for unexplained damage on your senior family member’s vehicle and don’t hesitate to approach them if you think they were in an accident.
As a person gets older, they tend to lose some of their vision and hearing. This obviously will make driving difficult since a driver needs to be able to see traffic signs and signals and be able to hear car horns and emergency sirens. If you’re having trouble seeing or hearing things on the road, it’s usually time to stop driving.
Arthritis and neck pain are common among the elderly, and such afflictions can make it difficult for a senior driver to turn their head to see around them. This obviously creates a very large and dangerous blind spot when driving, so make sure you have full movement of your head before you drive anywhere.
It is entirely possible for a person to be able to drive safely well into old age, but the sad fact is that many senior citizens cannot be trusted behind the wheel. Whether you are an old driver yourself or you have an older family member who continues to drive, keep an eye out for these signs before a serious accident occurs.