One of the many dreaded decisions that adult children must make is determining if their senior parents are still able to take on the challenge of driving. No one wants to push for their parents to stay off the road, but in some instances, it is necessary. If you are worried that your parent might have some driver safety issues, here is what you need to know.
Is It Time to Hang Up the Keys?
A misconception about seniors is that growing older automatically means that they are not fit to drive any longer. The reality is, there are many seniors who still successfully navigate the road. In most cases, they drive safer than younger drivers.
Although your parent's age is a factor in whether he or she is still able to drive, it is not the only one that should be considered. In fact, the most important factors are his or her cognitive skills and ability to drive. An evaluation of his or her behavior in and out of the car can help you determine if it is time to talk about giving up the keys.
One great way to evaluate your parent is to take a ride with him or her. Pay attention to whether he or she strays while driving and if traffic rules are being followed. You also need to look at your parent's reaction time to incidents on the road. For instance, does it take your parent too long to react to a signal change?
In addition to what your parent does in the car, look at what he or she does outside of the car. For instance, is your parent having trouble with keeping up with medications? Does your parent have declining health?
If you are unsure if your parent is fit to drive, talk to his or her doctor.
What Can You Do to Increase Your Parent's Safety Behind the Wheel?
There are several ways you can ease your worries and ensure your parent's safety. One is to enroll your parent in a senior refresher course at your local driving school. The courses review the basics of traffic laws and some even offer behind-the-wheel. If your parent has had an accident or other traffic-related incident, this could potentially result in a reduction of insurance premiums for him or her.
You can also consider adding assistive devices to your parent's car if he or she has a disability. An occupational therapist can assess your parent's disability and help decide which devices are best for him or her. For more information, contact establishments like GB Driving.