When you were a teenager learning to drive, your parents probably worried about your safety. Now that you are grown and your parents are getting older, you might be experiencing similar concerns about them.
If you have an aging family member who drives, you should understand the risks your loved one may face and how to help him or her be safe.
Risks for older drivers
Vision is a common concern among older drivers. For this reason, drivers over 75 must visit the DMV every five years and take a vision test to renew their driving privileges. Pain, cognitive issues and reduced mobility can also make driving more difficult.
Many older people manage chronic health conditions with medication, but some of these can increase the risk of a car accident. Some medications can cause drowsiness, dizziness or slower reflexes. Make sure your parents talk to their doctors about the safety of driving while taking medication.
Resources for older drivers
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles offers resources to help mature drivers continue driving safely. Your parents may benefit from a driving safety course designed for older drivers.
Your parents may resist giving up their driving privileges because they fear losing their independence. If you feel that it is no longer safe for your parents to drive, you may be able to ease their concerns by helping them explore alternative forms of transportation, such as buses, ride-sharing and community transportation services.
Age-related issues can make everyday tasks more difficult, including driving. Fortunately, there are resources available to help older drivers.