Hard Decisions: When to Stop an Older DriverSubmitted by S. F. Ehrlich Associates, Inc. on October 1st, 2018
September 30, 2018
The Wall Street Journal1 article states the obvious: There are no easy answers or decisions when it comes time to try to stop an older driver from driving. (I can recall one family member stating that if he lost his license, he might as well die. He was approaching 90 at the time.)
The Journal offers families of older drivers multiple sources to help the senior assess his/her own driving ability. One way to start the conversation is to offer these tools by pointing out the intent is to keep grandma or grandpa on the road as long as possible.
- AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: publishes “Driver 65 Plus: Check Your Performance” (a self-rating form).
- University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute: publishes “SAFER Driving; The Enhanced Driving Decision Workbook” (a driving assessment workbook).
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): publishes “Driving Safely While Aging Gracefully”
In addition, AAA, NHTSA, and AARP all “offer valuable information and resources…about older drivers.”
Citing a study by Hartford Financial Services conducted on senior drivers, the survey found that if seniors were to be approached about their driving, they would be most likely to listen to:
- Spouse: 35%
- Child: 19%
- Police officer: 18%
- Doctor or other health professional: 11%
- Close friend: 9%
- Sibling: 5%
- Other: 3%
If this is a topic that you’ve avoided discussing in your family, everyone who has ever had to do it understands your trepidation. (If you’re the elderly person who your family is talking about, think about how stressful it is for the one who ultimately ‘volunteers’ to approach you.)
Suffice it to say, good luck. If you’re able to accomplish the mission without bloodletting, please share your secret with us.
1 Ruffenach, Glenn. “The Hard Job of When to Stop an Older Driver.” The Wall Street Journal, 9 July 2018.