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Senior Driver Safety – What to do if you think a Senior Should Not be Driving

May 4, 2020

Senior Driver Safety

What to do if you think a Senior Should Not be Driving

The Federal Highway Administration reports that drivers age 70 and older experience more motor vehicle fatalities than any other driving group, with the exception of drivers under age 20. Aging affects each of us differently and when chronic illnesses are also present; there can be a decline in physical and cognitive abilities. While many seniors learn to compensate successfully for any cognitive or functional limitations, sometimes it does become necessary to let someone else do the driving.
Remember that medications can sometimes have a negative impact on driving ability at any age. A change in vision will also present challenges for driver safety.

First, take an assessment of the senior’s driving capability and begin thinking of alternate transportation resources to introduce to them at the same time you have the discussion to transfer the keys. You may want to begin with limiting night-time driving as a first step, as this will give the senior a chance to learn how to plan ahead when needing someone else to assist with transportation. Once they are accustomed to not driving at night and realize they still have access to alternate transportation, you can more easily adapt this to daytime driving too.