Making the decision to give up driving can be one of the most difficult times in the life of an older adult. For many, driving represents independence, spontaneity and even self-worth.
Via’s mobility specialist provides information about options to individuals who are thinking about giving up the car keys. She is often asked: “How do I know when to stop driving?”
The AARP provides this list of warning signs that indicate a person might want to limit or stop driving:
- Almost crashing, with frequent “close calls.”
- Finding dents and scrapes on the car, on fences, mailboxes, garage doors, curbs, etc.
- Getting lost, especially in familiar locations.
- Having trouble seeing or following traffic signals, road signs, and pavement markings.
- Responding more slowly to unexpected situations, or having trouble moving their foot from the gas to the brake pedal; confusing the two pedals.
- Misjudging gaps in traffic at intersections and on highway entrance and exit ramps.
- Experiencing road rage or causing other drivers to honk or complain.
- Easily becoming distracted or having difficulty concentrating while driving.
- Having a hard time turning around to check the rear view while backing up or changing lanes.
- Receiving multiple traffic tickets or “warnings” from law enforcement officers.
If you want to talk about driving concerns for yourself or a family member, Via’s mobility specialist is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 303-447-2848 x1047. You can also email her.
We’ve also put together a list of online resources to help you have a conversation with a family member about how to reduce or stop driving.