Driving makes anyone feel independent and grown up. This is why we cannot wait to get our driver’s license and our first vehicle. Taking away this privilege from those that are having a hard time navigating the roads can become quite an emotional thing to do. It is the one thing that provides them with the freedom to leave the home whenever they’d like. However, when is the right time to stop driving? What should you say to them regarding their driving?
The Right Time to Stop Driving
There are warning signs that everyone should watch out for when they know someone that is elderly or disabled. These warning signs may signal that it is time for them to get out from behind the wheel. It is best to be safe than sorry, and if you care about the person; speaking with them about the problems can keep them and others safe.
- They have specific health conditions that impair their normal reaction, or thought processes.
- Their vision is not what it used to be, and they are having a hard time seeing where they are going. This is usually more apparent during the night time hours.
- Hearing impairments can cause them to have a hard time driving. They will not be able to hear emergency vehicles or problems around them.
- Certain prescription medications can impair the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Speaking with them, a pharmacist or their physician about the medications they are on can give you a better idea of what impairments they cause.
- Is there damage to the car that wasn’t there before?
- Are the insurance rates increasing or traffic tickets piling up?
- When you take a ride with them, do their normal driving behaviors change? This could be everything from forgetting to check the mirrors, adjust the seats, put on a seat belt or not being aware of the lights and signs around them.
- Do they seem confused when getting into a vehicle or driving around?
Speaking with Them About Driving
No one wants to be told what to do, especially by someone that may be younger than them. If you have a parent, and you’re speaking to them like a child; they may not take too lightly about the fact that you’re trying to take away their freedom.
- Let them know the warning signs that you’ve noticed about their driving.
- Speak with them about the dangers of driving now, and how you care about their well-being.
- Be calm and collected throughout the entire conversation.
- Show your support and encourage them to find alternative modes of transportation.
- Never be aggressive towards them regarding their driving behaviors.
- Allow space for a long, thought out conversation with them and let them know it is an open table, and anything can be said.
While speaking with your parents about driving may be daunting, it is not something that you should put off. The talk could be a matter of life or death. How would you feel if they were to get into an accident with someone else, and someone was seriously injured? This conversation can be life saving if done at the right time.