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Is it time for your parent to stop driving?

If you have elderly parents in the Charleston area who are not quite ready to give up their keys, you might be wondering if it is time for them to do so. Your parents may still be very active, in good health and enjoy their independence. There is also the possibility that they will live longer than expected. You are not alone. The number of senior drivers on the roads is much higher than it has been, and it is expected to continue increasing. 

You may not realize it but old age can affect your parents' cognitive and motor skills. The chances of them causing or being involved in car accidents increases. Take some time to consider the following concerns about seniors who drive. 

They may not remember everything 

Some seniors are dependent on medications and assistive aids to help them function in a normal capacity. Your parents' medicines can cause them to become slower, and side effects could also include confusion and memory issues. They may not be able to recall traffic laws, driving techniques and other crucial information that can impact their safety. 

They may have less confidence 

Many older drivers are not as confident in their driving skills and ability to handle traveling conditions as they once were. To compensate, your parents may choose to only travel during certain times of the day, avoid nighttime driving and drive slower in situations where they are uncomfortable. Many newer vehicles come equipped with features and safety technology to make the roads safer and easier to navigate. However, some older people are not comfortable with or knowledgeable about them and resort to using poor habits to drive. 

Some seniors do not admit when it is time for them to give up their keys because it seems as if they are giving up their independence. Take some time to ride with your parents so you can observe their driving performance. If you notice they are receiving more traffic tickets, forgetting where they are going or getting into fender benders, it is time for you to talk to them about retiring their driver’s licenses.

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