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Driving can be a sensitive subject for seniors and their adult children. Because driving is linked to independence, most of us are reluctant to give it up.
However, aging brings some undeniable physical changes that can make driving more challenging. Because everyone ages differently, age alone can’t be the determining factor in when it is time for an older adult to give up their keys.
The challenges older drivers face range from diminished flexibility to slower reaction time. Research shows that fatal accidents among seniors begin to climb at age 75 and rise sharply at age 80.
If you are concerned about an older loved one’s driving, it might help to first evaluate their skills before you begin any discussion about hanging up the keys.
How to Evaluate a Senior’s Fitness for Driving
If you objectively evaluate your loved one’s driving and decide they are no longer safe behind the wheel, consider the best way to discuss the situation. Don’t just demand that they hand over their keys. Have a solid plan in place for the conversation, along with options for transportation.
Talking with a Senior About Giving Up Driving
Here are a few tips to help you discuss giving up the keys with an older driver:
If you’d like to continue learning more about this topic, we encourage you to visit the Seniors & Driving page on our website.