Age-related declines in vision, physical health, and cognitive ability can make it more difficult to drive. It is not a matter of age alone, since many of us are at different physical and cognitive stages than someone else the exact same age.
If you think you may be experiencing difficulties due to age-related matters, such as vision impairments, speak with your doctor or an occupational therapist about your concerns. There may be ways to counteract the symptoms you are experiencing, or there may be adaptive equipment that can be used to help you drive longer.
However, once it is no longer safe to drive, consider the consequences. You are at a greater risk of hurting yourself and others. You may also run into issues with insurance policies, legal matters, and finances if you continue to drive longer than you should.
If you experience any of the following, it may be time to hang up the keys:
- · You get lost driving home from a place you have been hundreds of times (such as a local grocery store)
- · You have had more than one car accident in a six month span
- · Friends and family have expressed they are scared to drive with you
- · You feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety while driving
- · You don’t feel like you have the cognitive ability to keep up with traffic or road conditions
Always remember that your safety and the safety of others on the road should take a priority over your driving once it is no longer safe to do so.
There are alternatives to driving, such as public transportation, riding with friends, and taxi cab companies. In addition, many community services and retirement communities offer transportation when utilizing their services. Signing up for Meals on Wheels or using grocery delivery services can also be very beneficial.
For more information about driver’s safety, visit www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety