How to Tell if Your Parents Are Too Old To Drive – Interview with Driving Safety Expert David Melton to find out how to know when your parents are too old to drive. One day, we’ll be faced with the decision that our parents should not be driving anymore. It’s a difficult decision, and some may think it’s inconvenient, but nothing beats safety for your loved ones.
How to Tell if Your Parents Are Too Old To Drive
Currently, my dad is 75 and my mom is 67. So far, they seem to be doing well, but you can’t wait until there is a problem to address the too old to drive issue. We’ve already taken steps to help them, for example, my husband drives their car all the way to Florida and flies back home just so they can fly out to their winter condo and not have to drive themselves. It’s a trip they obviously used to make themselves but it’s just too far of a drive for them at this age.
The idea got me thinking about more instances where we’ll have to help out. I interviewed driving safety expert David Melton to find out the best way to make this huge transition.
How to Tell if Your Parents Are Too Old To Drive – Interview
Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – How can you tell when it is time to have a conversation about driving with your senior parent? How to Tell if Your Parents Are Too Old To Drive?
Driving safety expert David Melton – Start looking for reluctance to drive. Maybe they don’t want to drive at night. Maybe they don’t want to drive in rush hour traffic, that sort of thing. Also, look for dings, new scratches, and dents on the car. But, I think most importantly is ride with them, let them drive, and see what you see, and how they react to the traffic situation around you.
Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – Obviously too old to drive is a touchy subject. What is your suggestion for how to propose this to elderly parents and have them be open to the idea?
Driving safety expert David Melton – Yeah, How to Tell if Your Parents Are Too Old To Drive is a very touchy subject. Liberty Mutual surveyed 1,000 boomer children, and discovered 29% don’t want to have that conversation at all, which is scary. You should be having these conversations early and often. As I said earlier, don’t wait til you think it might be time to have the conversation. Approach it gently, respectfully, with dignity, and ask them how they feel about driving. And, they may start telling you early on that they don’t like driving any more. They don’t like driving in heavy traffic; that sort of thing. Those are the signs to look for.
Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – If there’s an issue, it’s ideal to get the elderly driver off the road, but now what do you do so they can get to where they need to go?
Driving safety expert David Melton – Right, a lot of people avoid having the conversation because they’re not aware of the alternatives. Liberty Mutual partners with an organization called ITN America. It’s a non-profit, and they give rides to seniors who need those rides. They work out very well. Always look for alternatives.
Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – We frequently hear stats about teen drivers and accidents. Do you have any statistics that show that elders cause accidents as well?
Driving safety expert David Melton – If you look at the data that comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it shows that teen drivers, if you look at it like a bell curve, had a lot of crashes early on in their driving career. Those crashes go down as they age and get more experience. But, then that goes right back up at about 70 years of age. The number of fatalities of senior drivers approaches that of teen drivers. Primarily because senior drivers are far more fragile. So, even a minor accident or crash might cause a fatality.
Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – Driving laws have changed dramatically for teens. What type of regulations and laws are put into place to ensure safety with older drivers?
Driving safety expert David Melton – There are none specific to older drivers other than individual states having requirements that older drivers have to go through perhaps more frequent eye tests, may not be able to renew their driver’s license via the internet, that sort of thing. And, in some states senior drivers have to come in and have their eyes examined for licensing renewal, things like that.
How to Tell if Your Parents Are Too Old To Drive Originally Posted 6/13
For more info to find out if How to Tell if Your Parents Are Too Old To Drive, visit the Michigan Secretary of State.