The decision to step in and take action when you see an elderly motorist beginning to lose his driving abilities, is never an easy one to make.However, for millions of Americans in the position of caregivers for their parents, it’s a moment that presents itself sooner or later.
Studies estimate that elderly motorist safety is likely to become an even bigger safety concern in the years ahead, as the baby boomer population hits its 70s.According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2008, 78% of the senior population in the United States had driving licenses, compared to 73% just a decade earlier.Those numbers are expected to increase over the next decade.
It’s important for families of these motorists to know when to make the decision to suspend or restrict the person’s driving privileges.It’s also important to gently ease the person into giving up the keys, or at least present him with a set of alternatives to driving.Here are some steps you can take to keep your loved one and others safe.
· See if you can get someone to accompany the motorist when he/she drives.
· Restrict driving at night.
· Restrict driving only to nearby locations.
· Don’t allow senior motorists to drive during rush hour.
If none of this is possible, and you would like your loved one to stop driving altogether, stage an intervention.Get a member of the family who is close to the senior driver, to stage the intervention, so it’s less stressful.If that doesn’t work and the person continues to be stubborn about driving, you may simply have to take away the keys, or move the car to another location where it cannot be accessed.
If the person willingly gives up the car keys however, you must have other options in place.For instance, who’s going to take over the responsibility of driving him around now that he can’t drive himself?Entrust someone in the family with the responsibility of doing this, or establish a schedule rotating the task among family members.
The Atlanta auto accident lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent injured victims of auto/car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia.