Having difficult conversations with loved ones is part of life, and one of the most challenging is discussing when to stop driving with an elderly parent. Adult children with aging parents often face this unwelcome task, and though it is not easy, it can be necessary to prevent loved ones and others from getting injured or even killed in a car accident.
This is an emotional conversation, as people value their independence and freedom, which is directly linked to being able to drive. Looking at the situation objectively can help you determine if they are ready to retire from driving. Here are some signs you can look for:
Other red flags might include frequent traffic tickets, forgetting to put the headlights on, being unable to figure out how to put on the seat belt or figure out how the car works, and being overly stressed or confused about driving.
Since this is such a difficult subject, it is important to plan out what you want to say in advance and to remain calm and objective as you are talking. Other family members can be briefed about the impending talk and asked for their input. A small group approach could be too intimidating but could work for some people, and the other option is to do it one-on-one.
If your elderly parent will not budge on giving up driving, offer to take them to your local DMV for a vision and driving refresher course or test. You can also reach out to their physician, explain the situation, and ask that they speak with your loved one at their next appointment; you can remind them they are due for a checkup, and go along with them.
You can also ask family members and close friends to try convincing your aging parents to stop driving in separate conversations, keeping the same guidelines described above. It is also helpful to provide transportation alternatives, like community buses, ridesharing apps, grocery delivery services, and so forth. Focus on their safety and the safety of others who share the road. Waiting too long to have this conversation could be detrimental or even deadly.
Older drivers can create significant hazards for themselves and others, leading to serious accidents, injuries, and property damage. If you have been injured in an accident, speak with one of our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Call us at 302-656-5445 or complete our online form today to schedule a free consultation. We are located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, and we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.