20 Warning Signs an Elderly Driver is No Longer Safe Behind the Wheel
Elderly drivers need to be honest with themselves on whether they should still be driving.
The NHTSA advises family members to look for the following indicators that an elderly driver may need to stop driving and consider alternative modes of transportation.
- Drifting into other lanes.
- Straddling lanes.
- Making sudden lane changes.
- Ignoring or missing stop signs and traffic signals.
- Increased confusion while driving in traffic.
- Braking or stopping abruptly without cause.
- Accelerating suddenly without reason.
- Coasting to a near stop amid moving traffic.
- Pressing simultaneously on the brake and accelerator pedals while driving.
- Difficulty seeing pedestrians, objects and other vehicles.
- Increasing levels of anxiety while driving.
- Driving significantly slower than the posted speed limit or general speed of other vehicles.
- Backing up after missing an exit or turn.
- Difficulty reacting quickly and/or processing multiple stimuli.
- Problems with back/neck flexibility and turning to see traffic/hazards around the car.
- Getting lost or disoriented easily, even in familiar places.
- Failing to use turn signals or keeping signals on without changing lanes.
- Increased “close calls” and “near misses.”
- Receipt of two or more traffic citations or warnings in the past two years.
- Dents and scrapes on their car or on surrounding objects where they drive and park at home, such as fences, mailboxes, garage doors and curbs.
If you begin observing any of the above warning signs, it is time to address the situation. Don’t wait for an accident to occur.
Report an unsafe driver to the DMV
If you are concerned for the safety of a family member or friend who you feel has become a dangerous driver and refuses to participate in an assessment or cease driving, call or visit your local DMV to report them. You’ll need to provide the person’s name as shown on their driver’s license, their date of birth, their driver’s license number (if known), their current address and an explanation of why you believe they are an unsafe driver (e.g., specific medical conditions, observations, incidents). Concerned family members and friends may be able to submit this letter anonymously in some states, but others do not accept anonymous reports. – www.agingcare.com