Having “The Talk” About Driving
The likelihood of a car accident increases among drivers over the age of 75. As drivers age, their reaction time slows, eyesight declines and they are not as safe on the road. However, when the time comes for a senior to surrender his/her driver’s license, they can be resistant. We have some tips to help.
The National Transportation and Safety Board has a brief article about the warning signs that older drivers are no longer safe to operate a vehicle that may be helpful.
Talking About Driving with An Older Driver
The Automobile Association of America has an entire website devoted to senior driving and safety. AAA Senior Driving
One of the most difficult conversation for adult children to have with their parents is telling them to stop driving and give up the car keys.
From The National Institute on Aging, here are some tips for you when you are discussing driving with older drivers.
- Be prepared. Inspect his/her vehicle for recent dents and observe the elderly driver for potential problems.See the warning signs in the link below.
- Avoid confrontation. Try having a one-on-one conversation and express your concern from a personal perspective.
- Stick to the issue. Discuss the driver’s skills, not his or her age.
- Focus on safety and maintaining independence. Be clear that the older driver’s safety and the security of others in the primary concern. Emphasize the desire to continue the activities he/she currently enjoys and suggest alternatives to stay independent (shuttle services, mass transportation or even Uber or Lyft).
- Be positive and supportive. Empathize and recognize the importance of one’s driver’s license. Understand that he/she may become defensive, angry, hurt, or withdrawn. Offer to work together to find a solution.