There comes a point when it is no longer safe to drive. For many seniors, this moment can be difficult. Letting go of a license is not easy. However, we all have heard of stories when elderly drivers continued to drive despite their circumstances. An elderly person turns onto the wrong side of the freeway or hits the accelerator instead of the break. Unsafe driving can result in injury of not only the driver but others on the road, including pedestrians. Some seniors may hold onto their license for as long as they can to keep their independence and mobility, but the risks are grand. Families need to ensure their loved ones are safe on the road. When it comes to not driving anymore, the elderly might need the support of those around them.

Warning Signs of an Unsafe Driver

When it comes to unsafe driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises to look out for the following signs:

  • Accelerating without reason
  • Stopping abruptly
  • Confusion
  • Missing traffic lights and stop signs
  • Unexpected lane changes
  • Drifting
  • Backing up after missing an exit
  • Getting lost easy
  • Dents around car
  • Increased traffic citations
  • Hearing issues
  • Dementia

Addressing Aging and Driving Issues

Currently, there is no exact cut-off for when seniors need to turn in their licenses. But if the issues listed above are noticed, it is essential to not let them pass. Avoiding the issues can result in accidents and life-threatening situations. If a senior has reached 85 years old, this is the time when reaction time and health tend to shift.

Driving Assessments

Giving up driving is difficult for seniors. When the time comes to consider the possibility, their feelings can be deeply hurt. Not being able to drive takes away a sense of independence and responsibility. Instead of taking away the license of a loved one, ask them to take a driver’s test to determine if they can safely operate a car. The DMV provides these tests. If a senior passes the exam, they are good to drive around for longer. If not, they risk their driving abilities.

If a senior is not quite there yet where they have to give up their license, perhaps recommend safety precautions they should take. For example, seniors should avoid driving in bad weather and at night. To avoid getting lost, the area’s seniors travel should be close to off and familiar places. The most important aspect is to limit distractions. Turning off the car radio and of course, putting the cell phone away is essential.

Reporting Hazardous Drivers

If a senior is refusing to take a DMV assessment and is a dangerous driver, it is possible to report them. Calling the DMV and explaining your concern along with the senior’s name, date of birth, driver’s license number, and current address can result in a solution

Senior Driver Improvement Classes

Enrolling a senior in a driving course can allow for them to remember safety aspects while on the road. Even if they have been driving for years, these courses can benefit them greatly. Instructors of the course can even work directly with the seniors and make recommendations to them by observing their vision, hearing, and reaction.

Alternative Transportation

The moment it is time to stop driving for seniors is difficult. However, seniors in Melbourne, Florida, no longer have to give up their independence when using non-emergency transportation services. At Stellar Transport, a team of expert drivers provides seniors with rides to appointments, hangouts, malls, trips, and more. Who said freedom is lost? For more information, contact Stellar Transport today.