It is very difficult to have a conversation with your parents about giving up driving. For seniors, driving equates independence and privacy. Who wants to depend on family or friends for rides or pay for public transportation? Unfortunately, many seniors drive long after they should have given up the keys.
According to the CDC, a person’s risk of being injured or killed in a traffic accident increases with age. During 2014, 5,700 senior drivers lost their lives in traffic accidents, and over 236,000 senior drivers were injured in crashes. As more and more Americans reach the age of 65, the chance of being involved in a traffic accident with a senior driver increases. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the last of the baby boomers will turn 65 in 2029. By then, over 20 percent of the population will be 65 years of age or older.
If your parents are aging and you suspect they may need to stop driving, you may want to research some of the signs that indicate a senior driver should give up driving.
Things to Watch for With Senior Drivers
Many online resources have information about senior drivers. AARP offers a list of 10 signs that suggest a senior driver may not be able to operate a vehicle safely.
- A senior driver is having too many close calls or near crashes
- The person has received several traffic tickets or warning tickets for violations
- You notice damage to the vehicle or damage to curbs, shrubs, garage doors, or other structures
- Limited mobility that restricts movement in the vehicle to check mirrors and look for oncoming traffic
- Frequently becoming lost when out driving
- Becoming distracted or losing focus and concentration
- Problems with eyesight
- Failing to judge distances between vehicles or objects
- Periods of road rage, extreme frustration, or anxiety
- Confusing the gas pedal and the brake pedal or a decrease in the time it takes the senior driver to react to a situation
One of the best ways to judge if your parents need to stop driving is to ride as a passenger with your parents as often as possible. As a passenger, you can judge first hand if age has impaired your parents’ ability to drive.
In addition to age, other factors can impair the ability to drive. Many older adults have health conditions that make it difficult to operate a vehicle safely. In addition, many older adults take medications that have serious side effects that could impair their ability to drive. You must take all factors into consideration when trying to decide if it is time to suggest your parents give up driving.
Does Your Parent Need a New Orleans Accident Attorney?
Never assume your parent is liable for a traffic accident simply because of his or her age. Senior drivers are often the victims of motor vehicle accidents. If your parent has been injured in a traffic crash, you should consult with an attorney to determine if your parent is entitled to recover compensation for his or her injuries.
Please call Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm to schedule a free consultation with an experienced New Orleans accident attorney. You can contact our office by calling (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to get additional information or schedule your free appointment.