Maintaining a valid driver’s license is the epitome of independence for many senior citizens. For this reason, telling an aging loved one to stop driving can be challenging.
If you have noticed that your elderly relatives are no longer safe drivers, though, it is essential to say something. Otherwise, they run the risk of causing a devastating collision every time they get behind the wheel.
According to a review published in the American Journal of Public Health, older drivers are three times more likely to crash per mile driven than middle-aged motorists. At the end of the day, telling a loved one it is time to surrender his or her license may be a tough conversation to have, but doing so is ultimately in the best interests of everyone on the roads.
If you were hurt in a car accident with someone who should not have been driving, turn to Laborde Earles Law Firm. Our attorneys have helped clients recover more than $200 million in cash settlements and verdicts. Call 800-522-6733 to schedule a free case evaluation with an accident lawyer in Lafayette.
Read on to learn a few signs that it may no longer be safe for your elderly relative to keep driving:
- Poor Eyesight
It is natural for vision to worsen with age, and it often deteriorates gradually with every passing year. Since the standard Louisiana driver’s license lasts for six years, that means your loved one’s eyesight may worsen considerably before he or she needs to renew it again.
If possible, track your relative’s prescription. Otherwise, take note if he or she has trouble reading menus, seeing the television, or interpreting street signs.
- Slower Reflexes
With age comes slower reaction times, which can be incredibly dangerous while driving. This may be hard to identify in your loved one, but his or her primary care physician can recommend a few reflex tests at every wellness visit.
- Multiple Medications
In a survey among older Americans, researchers determined that 87 percent of adults older than 65 take at least one prescription drug on a regular basis, and most of them take an average of four different drugs daily. Since many medications cause drowsiness, it is wise to review your relative’s prescriptions before he or she hits the road.
- Decreased Flexibility
Limited mobility can make it challenging to perform a number of functions that are essential for driving safely, like checking blind spots when changing lanes, turning to look before backing out of the driveway, and craning your neck when parking in tight spaces. When seniors begin to experience decreased flexibility, it may be a sign that driving is no longer safe. Regular exercise and stretching can sometimes address this issue and improve a senior citizen’s performance behind the wheel.
It can be hard for seniors to acknowledge their own limitations, and in many ways their family members have an obligation to determine when they should no longer be driving. Unfortunately, not everyone has attentive loved ones who will do so.
For a free legal consultation, call 337-221-9907
If you sustained injuries in a collision with someone who should not have been driving, turn to Laborde Earles Law Firm. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Call 800-522-6733 to schedule a free consultation with an accident attorney in Lafayette.