When Is It Time to Give Up The Car Keys?: The Importance of Evaluating Driving Skills of the Elderly

Everyone ages differently. This is why there is no official age when one has to stop driving. Instead, what is important is to evaluate each individual’s skill and alertness. There are, of course, signs and signals that indicate that elderly drivers should hang up their keys, and give up the wheel to someone else. If you’re wondering if you are approaching this age, then perhaps reading our simple guide will help you assess yourself or a loved one. Below is our guide on when to give up the car keys.

  1. Do other drivers often honk at you when you are driving? This can be an indication that you are driving too slow, or may often be driving in the incorrect lanes. The honking can be a general warning or complaint from others about your driving skills.
  2. Have you lately suffered from a lot of accidents, even if they are only fender benders? Even small accidents can mean serious things. Normally, upon seeing these accidents, an auto insurance company may not renew your insurance policy, or may charge you more for it. This could mean more expense for you. Examine to see if driving is still really worth all this extra cost.
  3. Do you get lost, even in roads that are normally familiar to you? Again, getting lost is no joke. It could endanger your life, or a family member that you love. Getting lost on familiar roads can also be indicative of a more serious condition.
  4. Do cars, people, and pets seem to appear out of nowhere? This question asks about the driver’s alertness, and is indicative of how attuned his senses are. Again, compromised alertness and senses can cause serious accidents.
  5. Have friends, family, and even the resident physician expressed concern about your driving skills? Although it may seem difficult to not be offended by your loved one’s reactions to your driving, it is important to believe that they are only doing it out of concern for you. If more than one of them has said something, then it may be time to take the matter more seriously, before you end up in a car accident, or worse.

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then it may be time to seriously examine if you or your elderly family member is still a safe driver. As any driver will know, accidents can happen in a heartbeat. Prevent this from happening to you or your loved one by always exerting safety and caution.