Senior Driving

Yes!   We are the sandwich generation….  Giving car keys to our sixteen year old child and potentially taking keys away from our aging parent.   When is it time to take away the keys from mom or dad? The fatality rates for drivers begin to climb after age 65.  According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the fatality rates for drivers 85 and older, skyrockets to nearly four times higher than that for teens.

Although, my mother claims she only goes to the “store and back”….  I still had some grave concerns on the weekly dents she placed on her aging Honda.  Mom doesn’t seem to be rattled by the drive-away dents…but I have stressed out that her next accident could be a crash at an intersection where she would miss a stop sign, run a light or turn left in front of oncoming traffic.  According to safety and health specialist, federal crash statistics shows, that drivers 85 and older are involved in three fatal accidents a day.

How do we accomplish the daunting task of taking the keys away from our parents?  Do not rely on your State license branch!  State laws are inconsistent on this issue.  Most state driver’s license laws require only basic eye exams. Unfortunately, physical capacity and cognitive awareness are not evaluated.  No state has an age limit on drivers.  The best way to wrestle the keys away from an aged parent is through their Primary Care Physician.

My mother’s PCP broke the news to her that driving was no longer an option.  In fact, she was required to hand over the keys in his presence.  AARP is another viable option.  AARP offers a Driver Safety Program at sites around the country and online.  The organization’s website, also offers advice for seniors and their adult children on how to stay safe.  In addition, AAA has an entire senior driving section on its website which includes self-testing, driver improvement courses, night driving, and public transportation options.

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I am passionate about sharing senior citizen news and resources discovered from both my profession and personal journey.

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