Colorado residents may find many topics challenging to broach. Talking with their children about the facts of life, discussing money with their spouses and asking their bosses for raises may be some subjects that result in sweaty hands and lots of excuses. Research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that you can add one more topic to that list.
Talking with your elderly parents about the best time for them to give up driving may be something you have been avoiding for too long. If this is true, you are in good company. Studies show that 83 percent of senior age drivers never discuss the topic with either their adult children or their doctors. This may be placing you and many others in danger.
Elderly drivers are at risk
While your parents may be showing no evidence that they are having difficulty behind the wheel, it is likely that you share the road with many other elderly drivers who are either denying their struggles or feeling they have no other choice but to drive.
Since so few people are discussing the increasing risks as a driver grows older, you and your family may one day encounter an elderly driver who has lost the ability to react appropriately to avoid an accident. About 200,000 drivers over the age of 65 suffered injuries in accidents in a recent year, and 3,500 died as a result of their injuries.
Your family is also in danger
Some of the reasons why driving becomes difficult as people age, include the following:
- Reduced vision and hearing
- Painful joints that make it difficult to steer or brake
- New medicines with side effects that impair reactions
- Medical conditions
- Lack of familiarity with the high-tech safety features in more modern cars
- Distraction from onboard devices they don’t understand
Many adults do not begin the discussion about their parents’ driving abilities until after they witness safety concerns, such as their parent weaving between lanes or bumping the curb. About 15 percent of adult children are forced to face the issue after their parents are in an accident. This leaves you and your loved ones sharing the highway with many drivers who may be dangerously incapable of controlling their vehicles. If you suffer injuries in such a situation, you have the option of seeking legal advice about your alternatives.