Elder traffic incidents are on the rise in the United States because of the lack of precautions that are being taken before elders hit the road for a drive. With the rising amount of tragic traffic accidents caused by seniors it is becoming more apparent to the Department of Motor Vehicles and senior supports to make sure they are fully able to drive a vehicle. Many states have gone as far as to keeping senior citizens that are a danger to the community off the road and require them to retake their license test if they have any mental or physical signs.
Driving a car for a senior loved one is more than just transportation for point A to B; it is also a symbol of independence and enjoyment to our senior loved ones. In general they should not have their license taken away because they are a certain age. It should be based on if they are physically and mentally aware to drive a vehicle.
The number one thing to make sure of when you senior is driving is being self-aware. This means that they can correctly assess their ability to drive and be able to adjust their driving habits. By having the correct amount of focus and making sure they are not harm to the society is key in correct driving. This includes that your senior loved one does not have any serious side effect from their medications such as:
- Becoming drowsy at the wheel
- Decrease in vision both near and afar
- Decreased reactions and coordination during timely situations
- Decrease range of motion while driving a vehicle
Each of the listed side-effects can not only put your senior loved one in harm but also the public. If your senior loved one is currently experiencing even the smallest side-effect from medication it is best to request they stop driving and see a doctor so they can fix the problem immediately. Many times it may just be an adjustment in medication and they can safely be back on the road within days.
There are several things to be aware of when trying to understand if your senior loved one is ok at driving. Some of the signs of dangerous driving to be aware of are:
- Common and anonymous dings, scratches and dents on the car
- Getting confused in directions where the commonly drive
- Not paying attention to exits, signals and road signs
- Collecting traffic citations and notifications than recent years
- Having a hard time changing lanes or staying in the same lane while traveling