Getting a driver's license is, for many people, the first step toward adult independence. This is why deciding to stop driving can be so difficult.
Unfortunately, nobody can escape the kind of physical problems that come along with age forever. When someone you love starts experiencing signs that their best driving days are behind them, it's important to have a frank and honest discussion about putting down their keys.
Physical problems that can affect a loved one's ability to drive include difficulty seeing at night, problems with hearing, slower reflexes and coordination problems. In some cases, it may not be necessary for your loved one to completely stop driving right away. For example, if your loved one experiences age-related night blindness, they may be able to simply stick to daylight driving for the time being.
However, there are other signs that your loved one should probably put the keys away for good. These include the following:
- They regularly drift out of their lane.
- You find dents or scratches on their car that your loved one doesn't remember getting.
- Your loved one is having serious difficulty merging with traffic or changing lanes.
- They have recently confused the gas pedal with the brake.
- They've had a couple of minor accidents or close calls recently.
- Other drivers are starting to blow their horns at your loved one because of their driving errors.
- Your loved one has begun to get lost in familiar places.
These days, the presence of public transportation and the popularity of ridesharing services like Uber make it possible for someone to maintain independence even after giving up their driver's license. Encourage your loved one to give other options a chance.
When drivers who are no longer equipped to handle the road get behind the wheel of a car, accidents can easily happen. If you fall victim to another driver's negligence, make sure that you understand your right to compensation for your injuries.