Over 28 million drivers are over the age of 65 and according to the CDC, many of them suffer “age-related decreases in vision, cognitive functions, and physical impairments” which makes it difficult and even dangerous to drive. 90% of the information needed to drive safely relates to the ability to see clearly, and age takes a toll on just about everyone’s eyes.

There is, however, no set age for drivers to “retire”. As long as someone can keep renewing their license, they can keep driving. There are examples of safe drivers in people into their 90s.

For concerned family members, it can be difficult to know when an elderly person should give up the keys. The elderly driver may be unwilling or unable to recognize when that time comes themselves. The reality is that senior drivers have more fatalities per mile driven than any age group except teenagers and while younger drivers crash more, the crashes involving older drivers are more likely to be fatal. It’s essential that those who are a risk to themselves and others while behind the wheel, give up driving.

The following are some signs it may be time to talk to your elderly family member about giving up the keys:

  • Recent accidents
  • Complaints about decreasing eyesight
  • Dings or scratches on their vehicle
  • Complaints from other people who commonly ride with them

Sometimes the best way to judge their current driving abilities is to simply go for a ride as a passenger in the vehicle they are driving. If they are struggling to stay in their lane, forgetting to signal, or slow to react to things around them while they drive, those are indicators it may be time for them to stop driving.

When approaching a senior driver about giving up the keys, the best way to go about it with the perspective that this is a difficult step many of us will eventually have to take. Losing the ability to drive is losing a big part of what makes someone independent. Be kind, be understanding, and make sure the senior understands you’re bringing this up out of love.

It’s also important to provide them with solid transportation options. Let them know they’ll still be able to go where they need/want to go. Go over a plan with them on how to still run errands, make it doctors’ appointments, and visit family and friends. Ultimately, it may be a difficult and uncomfortable conversation to have. Remember that your loved one’s safety is what’s most important.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident because of another drivers negligence, you deserve fair and full compensation. The experienced attorneys at Craig Swapp & Associates are ready to fight for you. Give us a call at 1-800-404-9000 or fill out the online form at the bottom of this page.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp