Your Family: Elderly Driving Pt. 1

The Morning Show

Sheryl Bautch from the Family Service of Champaign County stops by the Morning Show for this week’s Your Family.  She is discussing warning signs that may indicate a senior is an unsafe driver.

An important safety issue for our senior family members is driving. In this week’s Your Family we will talk about the warning signs that may indicate a senior is an unsafe driver.

Next week we will discuss how you can talk to a senior family member about this sensitive but critically important concern.

We really can’t pick an age and say that this is when seniors may begin to have difficulty driving. People experience aging in very individual ways that are unique to each person. Some seniors may begin to be unsafe drivers as early as their 60s while other are very safe drivers well into their 80s or even beyond. We really need to assess each senior’s ability to drive safely on a case-by-case basis.

Warning Signs:

Signaling incorrectly or not at all

Driving too slowly or too fast for safety

Frequent complaints about other drivers

Hitting curbs or otherwise misjudging distance

Hitting the wrong pedal
 
Trouble with turns, especially left turns
 
Running traffic lights or stop signs
 
Problems staying awake during normal daily activities or events
 
Health problems or medications that could affect alertness
 
Confusion with thinking; getting lost in familiar places
 
Accidents, near misses, tickets, or warnings
 
Problems reading signs or not seeing signs
 
We need to address the issue with the senior, but that can be a very difficult discussion. Next week we will offer some suggestions for how to handle that situation.

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