One of the big issues for elderly people and their families, is when it is time for an elderly person to stop driving out of fear for their safety and the safety of others.
When people get older, they gradually lose the quick reflexes they had in their youths. People naturally get slower.
This has important implications for elderly drivers, since driving requires quick reflexes and motor skills.
Many elderly people simply no longer have the physical ability to drive safely. However, for elderly people giving up driving represents a big loss of freedom and mobility.
People who have always been independent, suddenly have to rely on others.
This can create a lot of tension in families, as a recent Washington Post column illustrates.
The article is titled "When our elderly mother refused to stop driving, we took drastic action."
The author's mother loved to drive.
When she was 80, she bought herself a brand new Lexus. The problem was she had become a terrible and unsafe driver by that point, according to her family. She often had near collisions with pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles.
The author and his brother tried to talk her into giving up driving, but she refused.
That led them to take the drastic action of reporting her as dangerous to the New York DMV.
She was ordered to take a license test. While she passed the written portion, she failed the driving portion horribly and, as a result, her license was taken away.
Elderly people and families need to have conversations about when it is time to stop driving.
It is in everyone's best interests that people who can no longer drive safely, no longer drive at all.
Reference: Washington Post (Sep. 2, 2017) "When our elderly mother refused to stop driving, we took drastic action."