The effects of aging can make elderly drivers more at risk for car accidents, but it can prove challenging to convince them that they need to stay off the road.
Boca Raton is a popular place for people to retire. As a result, many of us have older adult friends and relatives we check in with regularly. While they value their independence, they often need our help to maintain their health and safety. One of the most contentious issues when dealing with the elderly is determining when it is no longer safe for them to drive. Physical and cognitive impairments that are a part of the aging process can make them a danger behind the wheel, increasing their risks of auto accidents. The following are warning signs you need to be aware of and tips on talking to elderly friends and loved ones about the situation.
Warning Signs That an Older Adult is Unsafe to Drive
Older adults are often reluctant to relinquish the independence that comes with being able to drive. The American Automobile Association (AAA) advises that Florida does require people over 80 to renew their driver’s license every six years. However, this does not always prove adequate in screening them or preventing potentially dangerous situations.
The AAA offers a senior driving self-assessment tool which can help make them aware of how they may be putting themselves and other motorists at risk. There are also warning signs you should be alert for:
’ They have chronic health issues that cause physical or cognitive impairments;
’ They are on medications which could make them drowsy or otherwise impact their driving abilities;
’ They have received several traffic violations over the past year;
’ They have been involved in near miss accidents or fender benders;
’ They express doubts over their ability to drive at night or in certain traffic conditions.
Convincing an Elderly Person Not to Drive
Talking to elderly drivers can prove challenging. They are likely to get defensive and fearful about being cut off from social activities or of being unable to run errands and attend doctor visits. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) offers the following tips for making these discussions easier:
- Approach the topic respectfully and avoid being confrontational.
- Focus on risk factors, rather than the person’s age.
- Convey that you are supportive but have concerns regarding their safety.
- Acknowledge the challenges they are likely to face due to not driving and offer possible solutions.
Offering to drive them places is helpful, but it can leave them feeling dependent. Care.com offers a list of senior transportation providers in Boca Raton. Providing them with this list can help them feel more in control of the situation.
Reach Out to Our Boca Raton Auto Accident Lawyers
At Ged Lawyers, LLP., our top priority is protecting the safety and well-being of you and your loved ones. When crashes or collisions do occur, we provide guidance in getting the compensation you need for your injuries. To request a one on one consultation, call or contact our Boca Raton auto accident lawyers online today.