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Can you prevent an elderly loved one from driving?

Even elderly people who have no need to drive often enjoy the freedom it gives them. Recently, 97-year-old Prince Philip made headlines after he was involved in a crash that injured two women in another vehicle as he drove near London. The prince, who was uninjured even though his Land Rover overturned, reportedly told authorities that the sun had blinded him momentarily.

What happened to Prince Philip could potentially happen to anyone at any age. However, families everywhere with senior and elderly loved ones who want to continue driving -- even though their cognitive abilities, reflexes and/or physical dexterity present safety issues -- struggle with how to prevent them from driving. One survey found that more people dread talking to loved ones about giving up driving than discussing funeral arrangements.

Families may not be able to count on others to prevent parents and grandparents from driving. Physicians may hesitate to report to authorities that they believe a patient should no longer drive. They could risk legal liability and confidentiality issues. Here in Colorado, an older person may not be required to take a driving test unless they've been involved in at least two accidents within three years or any fatal accident.

Of course, many older people are very safe drivers. Further, the many safety features in newer vehicles alert drivers of all ages to potential hazards they may not notice. However, for the reasons noted above and more, there are many older drivers on Colorado's roads who present a danger to others. Unfortunately, they may not lose their driving privileges until they're involved in a crash and someone is injured or worse.

If you've been injured in a crash caused by an elderly driver, regardless of what consequences they face, you have the right to seek compensation to cover your expenses and damages. An experienced attorney can help you.

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