As your parents get older and their health starts to fade, you know they will need more support. It may start with small tasks like mowing the lawn or helping them cook, but eventually, they may lose more of their independence.
Driving safely is more than a skill that someone does or does not have; there are many traits and moods that can impact someone’s ability to drive safely. As parents age, they may lose some of the abilities that helped them remain safe drivers.
Here are a few ways to know if your parents can no longer drive safely.
The scene and circumstances are constantly changing on the road. One of the most essential skills for safe driving is to respond quickly with the appropriate action.
As your parents lose their ability to respond to situations quickly, it may be time to ask them to hand over the keys. If you do not drive with them often, you can observe their responses to other situations to help you make your decision.
Driving requires a blend of responsiveness, observation and focus. While there are many distractions in the car and on the road, it is critical to be able to focus on essential information.
When you are out driving with your parents (or listening to other passengers recall their times on the road with them), watch for indications that they cannot give their full attention to the task at hand. You may notice incidents of swerving or being unable to maintain a consistent speed.
Having the conversation
It is never easy to tell someone they can no longer be independent by driving themselves to their destinations. However, if you start the conversation when you first notice the signs and give them the necessary support for alternatives to driving, it may make it easier for them to hang up their keys.