Have you noticed that driving has become stressful, confusing, or exhausting? Do you notice that you are anxious behind the wheel? Have you been wondering if it’s safe to drive but are afraid of losing your independence?
This may be a tough decision to make, but unfortunately, this is something that should be discussed with loved ones. When should you speak with your loved one about your driving safety concerns? What are the signs that it is time to discuss with a loved one about driving and how to determine if it is time to retire your keys?
Being in a confused state can be stressful and worrisome. Confusion can add to a level of discomfort, anxiety, and can create anxiety. This is not a good combination with being behind the wheel of a car.
It is time to consider retiring your car keys if you are confused about which direction you should go in, confused about where you are, or get lost easily. Confusing moments can turn into a hazard, as you may forget which side of the road to drive on and can cause an accident. If you are experiencing any of these confusing moments, perhaps it is time to retire your car keys?
Difficulty with Mobility
Being mobile means that you can move easily and freely without any difficulty. Having difficulty with mobility is a hazard while operating a vehicle. It is time to consider whether it is safe to drive if you are having difficulty moving your foot from the gas to the brake or vice versa, having difficulty stopping at red lights or stop signs, or having delayed reactions to stopping while driving.
These may be brushed off as minor incidents; however, these minor incidents can be deadly. Be aware of the ‘incidents’ that occur and ask yourself, “Are these incidents occurring frequently?”.
Accidents and Senior Driving Safety
According to the CDC, it has been reported by the Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), almost 7,700 older adults, aged 65 and older, were killed in traffic crashes in 2018. More than 250,000 were treated in emergency departments for crash injuries.
Do you often have close calls with others? Have you ever side-swiped other cars when parking? Are you running stop signs or red lights? If you are getting into frequent accidents, you are a danger to yourself and others. If you are having frequent ‘fender benders’ it is time to bring this to the attention of your loved one to discuss other options for means of transportation.
There are so many factors that can contribute to reevaluating your driving; however, safety should be the number one factor. Are you afraid to face the reality of not driving anymore? Are you worried about your independence? Independence and social interaction are not defined by the ability to drive.
Perhaps you should discuss a mobility plan with your loved ones. A mobility plan is a plan of action to help you stay active even after you have decided to retire your driving privileges. Ensure that you are still able to do the things that you love to do. Just because you have decided to stop driving does not mean that you have to stop living. Still be social and get out of the house. Be able to know your local transportation and schedule your activities.