When to Stop Driving

It’s a scary prospect for someone who has been driving for years. But at a certain point, it’s time to say goodbye to the car.

Seventy is the new 50. Older drivers are keeping their licenses longer than they used to. They’re also involved in fewer fatal collisions than in the past. On the other hand, drivers aged 70 and up have higher crash rates than middle-aged drivers. Aging brings vision and hearing impairments that can affect your ability to drive safely.

Is it Still Safe to Drive?

It’s hard for people to objectively evaluate their own driving ability. Nobody wants to give up their independence and autonomy. But sometimes, safety is a real concern. How can you tell if it’s no longer safe for you or your loved one to drive?

Here are some warning signs to look out for:

  • Distraction, especially while driving
  • Loss of confidence
  • Slower response times
  • Difficulty staying in the correct lane of traffic
  • Frequently scraping or denting the car
  • Too many close calls
  • Decrease in hearing or vision

If any of the above describes you or the senior in your life, it’s time to talk about giving up the car. Approach the topic with sensitivity and empathy—even for yourself. Giving up driving is never an easy decision, even when you know it’s necessary. Allow yourself time to adjust to your new reality.

It’s Not All or Nothing

Talk with your loved ones to come to a decision about driving. You may just need to modify some driving habits to be safer. For example, some seniors find that local, daytime driving is perfectly safe, but they need to stop driving distances or in the dark. Technology such as lane assist and backup cameras can also help you or your parent stay in the driver’s seat longer.

Another way to make the decision almost painless is to give up the car when you move to a retirement community like Bridgeway of Bensenville. While you can bring your car with you, Bridgeway also provides scheduled transportation with no extra fees. You don’t need to sacrifice your mobility or independence when you give up your car.

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