How to Tell if a Senior is Safe to Drive
For many senior citizens, driving is the equivalent of their lifeline to the world that awaits beyond the walls of their homes. Driving allows seniors to get around and pick up the things they need, such as food and medication. Slipping behind the wheel enables them to remain socially engaged with their family members and friends. Being able to transport themselves empowers older drivers to retain their independence and avoid having to burden loved ones with their transportation needs.
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While any one of those things makes a strong enough case on its own for seniors holding onto their driver’s licenses, even the sum of them all isn’t always enough to justify allowing an older loved one to continue to drive. When seniors become a danger to themselves and/or others when they drive, it may be time to pull the plug on their driving privileges no matter how difficult it might be.
If you doubt that some seniors need to relinquish their driving privileges, consider the following. According to AAA, seniors only fall behind teenaged motorists in the context of crash death rate per mile driven. In addition, the crash fatality rate among senior citizens is 17 times higher than it is for people at or between the ages of 25 and 64 years-old.
Signs a Senior is Unsafe Behind the Wheel
Determining whether a senior is safe to drive involves having the ability to recognize the signs that the person is no longer a safe driver. If you notice one or more signs that your older loved one can no longer operate a vehicle safely, it’s time for you to act.
Here are some signs that may indicate a senior is no longer a safe driver:
- Drifting into other lanes or making sudden lane changes>
- Braking or stopping for no apparent reason
- Not reacting to signs or traffic signals quickly enough
- Confusing the brake and gas pedals or pressing them both at the same time
- Having trouble seeing pedestrians, cyclists, other vehicles or road hazards
- Driving noticeably below the speed limit when conditions don’t require excessive caution
- Neck or back problems that make it difficult to turn and monitor conditions around the automobile
- Getting lost or “turned around” in familiar territory
- Dents or scratches on the senior’s car or on things near where the person pulls into or out of their driveway or parks
- Earning multiple tickets or citations in a relatively brief period of time
- Backing up after missing a turn, even when other cars are or might be approaching from the rear
Advancare – Helping Miami-Dade Seniors Maintain Their Independence
The team at AdvanCare knows how heartbreaking it can be for seniors and their families when older drivers have to give up their licenses. By offering senior care in Miami, FL and surrounding areas, we make the transition to being a non-driver much easier for seniors and their loved ones. When your loved one can no longer drive safely, we’ll step in and transport your family member to their destination.
We offer a senior errand service, which ensures your loved one will have all the supplies they need and that all their everyday tasks are taken care of without putting them at risk for an auto accident. Our team also provides incidental transportation so seniors can get to their doctor’s appointments, go grocery shopping, attend religious services, and engage in other activities.
To learn more about the services we provide that can help you or your loved one continue to be independent without a driver’s license, call (305) 441-9794.