Getting older does not necessarily mean a person's driving days are over. But some of the changes you experience as you get older can affect your ability to drive safely. The good news is that people who keep track of changes in their eyesight, physical fitness and reflexes may be able to adjust their driving habits so they stay safe on the road.
It is important to plan ahead and take steps to ensure the safety of your loved ones on the road. NHTSA offers free materials to help you learn more about how to recognize and discuss changes in your older loved one's driving. 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 - if necessary - provide possible transportation alternatives. Visit the NHTSA website for more information.
Answering the following questions may help you decide if you need to initiate a conversation with an older driver about driving safely:
- Getting lost on routes that should be familiar?
- Noticing new dents or scratches to the vehicle?
- Receiving a ticket for a driving violation?
- Experiencing a near miss or crash recently?
- Being advised to limit/stop driving due to a health reason?
- Overwhelmed by road signs and markings while driving?
- Taking any medication that might affect driving safely?
- Speeding or driving too slowly for no reason?
- Suffering of any illnesses that may affect driving skills?
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