Senior Drivers – 15 Warning Signs

By on September 11, 2014

Senior Drivers – 15 Warning Signs It’s Time To Hide Mom or Dad’s Keys

Please view the 15 Warning Signs SlideShare presentation to evaluate if it’s time to have a talk with the senior driver in your family.

Increasingly, baby boomers are faced with the reality that their parents may now pose a risk behind the wheel of a car.

Discussing giving up the keys with a senior driver can be a difficult topic. To many of us, driving represents freedom, and is a privilege we are reluctant to relinquish.

The following additional resources will help the senior driver make an honest evaluation of his or her ability to stay behind the wheel. We have also listed resources to guide family members when they are forced to discuss giving up the keys with a loved one.

Additional Resources

The following is except from an excellent HelpGuide.Org article, Older Driver Safety.

View the entire article is HERE

  • Getting a professional evaluation
    An occupational therapist or certified driver rehabilitation specialist can provide a comprehensive evaluation of the skills needed to drive and recommend car modifications or tools to keep someone driving as long as possible. It can also help diffuse accusations from family by providing a neutral third party perspective. You can ask your medical treatment team for a referral, or visit the websites listed in the Resources section below.
  • Understand the difficulty of the transition. Your loved one may experience a profound sense of loss having given up driving. Don’t dismiss their feelings but try to help with the transition as much as possible. If it is safe, try slowly transitioning the senior out of driving to give them time to adjust. For example, your loved one may begin the transition by no longer driving at night or on the freeways, or by using a shuttle service to specific appointments, such as the doctor’s.
  • When an older driver refuses to give up the keys Sometimes an older driver has to be stopped from driving over their objections. It might feel very difficult for you to make this call, especially if the senior is a parent or other close figure used to having their independence. However, their safety and the safety of others must come first. An unsafe driver can seriously injure or kill themselves or others.
  • If appropriate evaluations and recommendations have been made, and no amount of rational discussion has convinced the driver to hand over the car keys, then you may make an anonymous report to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (in the U.S. or Canada) or talk to the person’s physician about your concerns. In some cases, there is a need to take further actions such as taking away the car keys, selling or disabling the car, and enlisting the local police to explain the importance of safe driving and the legal implications of unsafe driving.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides an online evaluation assessment for your aging parent to evaluate driving skills. It includes safe practices to continue driving.

AAA also provides an online self-evaluation quiz that will help senior drivers identify and remedy driving weaknesses. This quiz will also help the driver realize if it is no longer prudent to get behind the wheel.

  • Drivers 55 Plus: Self-Rating Form – A driving self-awareness quiz. Helps the senior to pinpoint areas of driving weakness, then to remediate them. Answer the quiz and get a customized set of tips for driving safely.

AAA also has a website dedicated to helping seniors evaluate and improve their driving.

AARP provides a free online seminar.

As a baby boomer, you likely have friends worrying about elderly parents behind the wheel of a car. Please use the social media “Share” buttons on this page to share  this post on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Your friends will appreciate the information.

Until next time,

Stay Safe!

RG, Editor

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