The decision to stop driving can be a very difficult one, but as we age, there are many factors that can impair our ability to drive.
Here are some risk factors for older drivers:
- Health conditions
Physical and mental impairment can compromise one’s driving ability, reaction time and even judgment.
- Vision impairment
Vision is key to driving, so when vision starts to deteriorate, driving gets much more dangerous.
- Hearing impairment
Hearing may not seem like it’s crucial to driving, but when hearing loss happens, it becomes difficult to hear car horns, screeching tires, sirens and other high alert sounds.
Prescriptions (and OC) medication can cause side effects like drowsiness, blurred vision, confusion, tremors and more, that can affect driving ability.
There is no easy way to talk to someone about giving up driving, but if you feel like your loved one is at risk, it is a good conversation to have. Make sure your loved one is having regular eye and hearing exams, and make sure they aren’t mixing medications in a way that could be dangerous behind the wheel. And of course, when they are driving, make sure that they are taking all the proper precautions, like wearing a seatbelt at all times.