Seniors can be very safe drivers. They have years of experience behind the wheel and they are less likely to take part in dangerous driving or risky behaviors. That said, seniors do face additional challenges. They may develop medical conditions which affect their mobility driving ability, for example. The roads and even technology in cars may have also changed significantly since the they last received formal driving instruction.
For many families, it’s a difficult conversation to have: when should mom or dad give up their car keys? For many seniors, giving up their car keys is a serious worry because it affects their independence. If you as a family are having this discussion, there are a few things you can do to help keep your senior family member safer:
- Start some good discussions: Rather than trying to dictate when or how a senior family member should stop driving, start some good conversations early about what their driving looks like. Try to stick with facts rather than your opinions. Pointing out that there have been three fender benders in the past month is more effective than trying to persuade someone to stop driving because you feel it’s time. Try to keep conversations calm and work together to come up with solutions.
- Get a professional driving assessment: If you have an elderly loved one who seems to be struggling with driving, consider getting them a professional driving assessment with a qualified professional. This type of assessment can help evaluate whether there is an issue, and it may be easier for your family member to hear it from a trained assessment provider rather than from family. In addition, a professional driving assessment can offer possible solutions, such as modifying the vehicle, to make driving easier.
- Encourage them to ask for help: One of the problems with surrendering driving has to do with accomplishing errands. In Hollywood and much of South Florida, many areas are car dependent. Make sure that your senior family member has a network of friends and family who can help them with everyday activities, such as getting to the doctor or getting groceries.
- Offer alternatives: Find out about alternative forms of transportation seniors can use in your area. This helps them feel less dependent on their car and can make giving up their car keys, if they have to, less stressful.
- Adjust the car: Before your senior family member surrenders the idea of driving, there may be modifications that can be made to their vehicle which can help them drive more safely. Adjustment such as seat cushions, pedal extensions, and steering wheel covers are just a few of the ways that cars can be modified to make them more comfortable and easier to drive, even for someone who has medical conditions or mobility issues.
If you have suffered an injury due to a reckless or negligent driver, contact a Hollywood car accident attorney at Flaxman Law Group for a free, no obligation case evaluation. You can contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN).