Elder Drivers: Is it time to stop driving?
Did you know about 7,700 car crash fatalities a year are due to elderly drivers? Most people begin driving between the ages of 16-18 and continue their lives operating a motorized vehicle.
Many of us take self-transportation for granted. However, there will come a day when elderly drivers need to seriously consider giving up that source of independence.
However, there are warning signs that tell us when it is time to hang up the keys. Want to know the top three signals to watch out for when it comes to elderly drivers? If so, keep reading.
1. Visual Impairment
A decline in eyesight is normal as we age. At around 40 years old, people will notice their vision getting a bit blurrier or less than perfect. When this happens, you need to schedule an eye exam and find out if you need visual aids.
As long as you can see with visual aids, there is no issue. However, if someone's eyesight is bad enough to the point where they cannot see the road, it is time to stop driving.
And if you or someone you love has trouble moving about even outside of a vehicle, it may not be wise to hop in a car and drive on a busy road.
2. Memory Loss
More than 6 million Americans have Alzheimer's, dementia, or other forms of memory loss. If a loved one is diagnosed with one of these conditions, there may come a time when it is no longer safe to drive. Many elderly drivers experiencing memory loss will find it difficult to remember the rules of the road.
They might have impaired driving ability, get confused about directions or forget the fundamentals of driving. When that happens, they are liable to cause an accident. So, if someone has a diagnosis relating to their memory, it's important to evaluate their driving skills for any decline.
3. Distracted Driving
It is no secret that today's technology is challenging for many of the elderly. They can easily become distracted while using the vehicle's controls or attempting to navigate using a GPS or cellphone.
Obviously, when they focus their minds on the devices in their cars, they are not paying close attention to the road.
Get Help for Elderly Drivers
As you can tell, there are several warning signs that it is time for elderly drivers to stop driving, or at least be observed by a certified driving evaluator. These professionals help individuals with different conditions either be evaluated to continue to drive or learn how to drive with assistive equipment, if possible. You can learn more about driving evaluators at our website.
Finally, if you have a loved one who has difficulty getting in and out of a vehicle, BraunAbility has assistive seating equipment that can help. Consider the Turny Evo seat, which is a great mobility solution for passengers or drivers.
It's never easy having these difficult discussions with loved ones, but professionals like your local BraunAbility mobility consultant or driver evaluator can certainly make the process easier.