Your parents taught you how to drive. They were great drivers, and you can’t imagine that changing. As they get older, you start to wonder if they should still be driving.
Here are some of the important indicators families should monitor. Go with your mom or dad when they’re driving and don’t let them automatically hand you the keys. Make them drive. If you see your parents do these things, it’s time to take away their keys.
Failing to Check All Blind Spots
If your parent isn’t checking blind spots on both sides of them, there’s a problem. Before changing lanes, they should be looking over their left shoulder and doing another check of the area behind them on their right shoulder.
They need to pay close attention to motorcycles and bicyclists that can be harder to see. When backing up, they should use a backup camera if one is equipped, but they still need to check their blind spots, too.
Mistaking the Brake Pedal and Accelerator
Some seniors get confused when driving and hit the wrong pedal. When this happens, they might drive into another car or a building. If your mom and dad cannot react fast enough to hit the brake when stopping or the accelerator to move the car, there’s a problem.
Struggling With Headlights at Night
Headlights at night can be blinding. If your parent is having a lot of difficulty seeing halos around headlights, it can be an indicator of glaucoma.
While they don’t have to give up driving completely yet, their eye doctor may ask them to limit driving to daylight hours only. Dark, stormy days and night driving may not be a good idea.
Following Too Closely
Seniors can start to have a hard time judging distance. If you notice your mom or dad following too closely. It’s a concern. At a stop light, they should be able to see all of the rear tires of the vehicle ahead of them.
While driving, police advise that it’s best to leave a second of space for every 10 miles of speed. For example, when traveling at 30 miles per hour, the three-seconds-of-space rule applies. Increase it to four seconds at 40 miles per hour.
When your parents can’t drive, there are great alternatives. You can drive them around, but that may conflict with your own work schedule and personal responsibilities. Instead, look into homecare services. Homecare services providers can drive your parents to local businesses their transportation services. Whether they have an appointment or need to go to the store, homecare service services providers can drive them for you.