Although driving is something that many of us depend on in our daily lives, from going grocery shopping to visiting family, the truth is that at some point, it may no longer be safe past a certain age. As our eyesight degrades, so do our reaction times and our ability to operate a vehicle.
Unfortunately, many people who are over a certain age refuse to give up this part of their independence. As such, it may be up to you to look for the warning signs to ensure not only the safety of your loved ones but also of other people on the road.
Here are some of the most important signs to look for that indicate it may be time for your loved one to stop driving.
Their Car is Inexplicably Damaged
If your older loved one comes home and you see damage that wasn’t there before, it may be time to start asking questions. In many cases, our older loved ones may hide the fact that they’re having difficulty driving because they don’t want to lose their independence.
Yet, it’s critical that you address any dents or scratches on their car and ask where they came from. If they can’t give you a reasonable answer, then it may be time to have an intervention. Start discussing the possibility of using alternative forms of transportation or moving them into an assisted living facility.
They’re on Medications That Cause Drowsiness
Many people are prescribed medications that can cause extreme drowsiness. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst conditions to be in before getting behind the wheel. When you’re drowsy, your reaction time decreases, and you’re not only putting yourself in danger but also everyone else surrounding your vehicle.
Despite how much your loved one may not want to consider that their medication could be a danger, it’s important that you involve their pharmacist. The pharmacist will explain that driving while on their medication is a dangerous combination that should be avoided at all costs.
There’s a reason why the DMV requires people over a certain age to have frequent vision checks. If your older loved one isn’t able to see other drivers on the road, then this could be a serious problem. Make sure that their vision is where it needs to be by getting their eyes checked regularly.
They Have Memory Issues
Doctors don’t recommend people with Alzheimer’s or other memory-related issues to drive. It could be extremely dangerous if they suddenly forget where they’re going or, worse, how to operate their vehicle. If your loved one has been diagnosed with a memory issue of any kind, it’s important that you insist they stop driving.