SENIORS: WHEN IT’S TIME TO QUIT DRIVING

Jan 23rd, 2012 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

A Serious Look at Reality

The prospect of losing your driver’s license looms large as certain of our faculties begin to slow.  It is not a prospect most of us face with candid and resolute willingness.  Many fight against it, to the bitter end.  Many refuse to allow the realities of declining sharpness to be acknowledged.  It will come and it will insist upon  its own way.

Some of the issues that meet us with their frank openness and literal demand are easy to observe:  Limited mobility for getting into and out of a vehicle, ability to park within necessary lines,  managing the knobs and controls of your vehicle, visual recognition of warning lights and other read outs in your car, seeing behind you when backing up, clarity of vision for reading signs, recognizing stop lights, warning lights, crosswalks, etc., exiting your car with necessary brakes applied, shutting off certain instruments, being sure the car is in the proper gear, dealing with distractions while driving, e.g. conversations, etc.

These are among the considerations which are likely required in almost any driving situation.  Recognizing, admitting and determining how to address these concerns is a must.  Some insurance companies and licensing agents (the state) will insist upon  verification of ability (visual and mobility) of an older person who is continuing to carry a  license and to drive.  Some physicians are conscientious enough to recommend that a patient not drive if signs of inability show up in an examination.

Listen to Those Who Love You

Resisting those who are looking out for your best self interest and that of others on the road will require a careful, objective and frank examination of the dynamics involved.  An accident will likely be the wrong provocation for making the decision to discontinue driving.  Considering the injury of oneself and others, dealing with consequences of a law suit may be very hard lessons for doing what makes sense before an accident occurs.

Demonstrate maturity.  Exercise prudence.  Take advice.  Don’t create a scene.  Be considerate.  Stop resisting reality. It may be time to allow someone else to chauffeur you around.  Enjoy it and keep your sense of humor about the wisdom of your choice.



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