If you have an elderly parent, you may have mild concern about his or her ability to perform everyday tasks. Nevertheless, because driving can be dangerous for individuals in their 70s and 80s, you may need to intervene to keep your parent safe.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults over the age of 65 have a greater likelihood of sustaining a serious injury in car accidents. Advanced age may also increase accident risk. Here are three signs your elderly parent may be an unsafe driver.
1. Vehicle damage
Looking for vehicle damage is a discreet way to monitor your aging parent’s driving abilities. If scratches, dings or dents appear on your mother’s or father’s car, he or she may be losing driving skills. Vehicle damage is especially concerning if your parent cannot explain how it happened.
Occasionally, you may want to ride with your elderly parent to see how he or she performs behind the wheel. When you do, watch carefully for confusion or disorientation. If your parent does not remember directions or has difficulty executing normal driving maneuvers, it may be time to take away his or her driver’s license.
Because losing driving faculties can be frustrating, you should pay special attention to your parent’s aggravation. If your parent loses his or her temper when trying to drive, you may want to compare his or her emotions to past behaviors.
No one wants to lose driving privileges. Still, if your parent is no longer a safe driver, using evidence of aggravation, confusion or vehicle damage to intervene may be the most effective way to prevent serious injury or death.