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Carlton Senior Living | January 15, 2016 | By Jonita Dixon

When Is The Right Time For Older Drivers To Stop Driving?

senior-driverDid you know that out of the existing 36 million US drivers on the road that are 65 years of age or older, 8 percent of those account for traffic injuries, and the number of traffic deaths they are responsible for is double at 16 percent? The latter figures are especially shocking if we acknowledge the fact that elderly drivers only comprise 13 percent of the driving population. Determining the right time to revoke driving privileges of our older loved ones is essential.

Giving Up Freedoms Is Never Easy

Ask anyone you know and they will tell you, giving up personal freedoms is not something they enjoy doing, and a loss of independence is not only upsetting, but it can even be frightening for the person involved. Now consider the fact that having the ability to drive is one of the most significant indicators of independence. To tell someone who is elderly it is time to give up driving privileges can prove an incredibly difficult thing to do. It is no easy task to take part of another person’s independence away.

However, at some point the conversation may become a necessary evil. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2012, statistics indicate that out of those who were 65 or older who were driving, 5,560 died in vehicular deaths, and another 214,000 of them were involved in injurious accidents. As per information released by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), seniors will find making left turns a greater challenge, and they are more likely to get involved in a traffic accident (resulting in death) at an intersection.

When Is The Right Time For Older Drivers To Stop Driving?

It is a common question for loved ones and caregivers to ask. When is the right time to insist that our older loved one stops driving? When should one take away the privilege of driving from the elderly? Yet, it is the loved ones and caregivers who can often make the best decision about a person’s driving abilities. As per information shared by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), there are signs that might serve as an indication it’s time to rethink a senior’s driving privileges. Such signs include:

  • The driver has been getting traffic tickets.
  • The individual has near misses in terms of an accident when driving.
  • The individual is on medications with side effects that will hinder one’s ability to drive, such as drowsiness.
  • The elderly driver consumes alcohol and attempts to/actually drives under the influence.
  • The individual suffers from chronic health conditions like respiratory conditions, cardiovascular conditions, glaucoma, diabetes, or arthritis.
  • The elderly driver suffers from hearing or vision loss.
  • The individual is subject to noticeable personality changes such as aggression.

When it comes time to have a serious talk about no longer driving, having a facility available where your loved one is able to be driven around can be a great way to ease the transition. If you want to know what type of options are available, make sure that you visit www.carltonseniorliving.com