Maybe you already know that driving at night, on the highway, or in bad weather is a problem for you. Some older drivers also have problems when yielding the right of way, turning (especially making left turns), changing lanes, passing, and using expressway ramps.
Have your driving skills checked by a driving rehabilitation specialist, occupational therapist, or other trained professional.
Take a defensive driving course. Some car insurance companies may lower your bill when you pass this type of class. Organizations like AARP, American Automobile Association (AAA), or your car insurance company can help you find a class near you.
When in doubt, don't go out. Bad weather like rain, ice, or snow can make it hard for anyone to drive. Try to wait until the weather is better, or use buses, taxis, or other transportation services.
Avoid areas where driving can be a problem. For example, choose a route that avoids highways or other high-speed roadways. Or, find a way to go that requires few or no left turns.
Before you leave home:
Plan to drive on streets you know.
Only drive to places that are easy to get to and close to home.
Avoid risky spots like ramps and left turns.
Add extra time for travel if you must drive when conditions are poor.
People with dementia often do not know they are having driving problems. Family and friends need to monitor the person's driving ability and take action as soon as they observe a potential problem, such as forgetting how to find familiar places like the grocery store or even their home. Work with the doctor to let the person know it's no longer safe to keep driving.
Ask your doctor if any of your health problems or medications might make it unsafe for you to drive. Together, you can make a plan to help you keep driving and decide when it is no longer safe to drive.
IS IT TIME TO GIVE UP DRIVING?
We all age differently. For this reason, there is no way to set one age when everyone should stop driving. So, how do you know if you should stop? To help decide, ask yourself:
Do other drivers often honk at me?
Have I had some accidents, even if they were only "fender benders"?
Do I get lost, even on roads I know?
Do cars or people walking seem to appear out of nowhere?
Do I get distracted while driving?
Have family, friends, or my doctor said they're worried about my driving?
Am I driving less these days because I'm not as sure about my driving as I used to be?
Do I have trouble staying in my lane?
Do I have trouble moving my foot between the gas and the brake pedals, or do I sometimes confuse the two?
Have I been pulled over by a police officer about my driving?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, it may be time to talk with your doctor about driving or have a driving assessment.