Driving is such a privilege and it is hard for an adult to accept that they cannot carry on anymore. It is not just the thrill and enjoyment of operating a vehicle that can take you to places but the freedom of going as and when you want and not being dependent on someone else that is lost when people stop driving.
That is why it wouldn’t be a surprise at all when an elderly person doesn’t want to even consider that time has come. Often, their children and doctors may need to be involved in the decision and help parents understand and come to terms with it. It may be working in the opposite direction because you need to prevent a parent who helped you get your license, first car and insurance and you are doing exactly the opposite.
In most states, there aren’t additional requirements to renew your license at an older age. Some states may require people to be physically available at DMV offices to renew and again only a handful of them may insist on an eye test. However, some states actually insist that people shouldn’t be treated differently because they are older. But insurance companies may not share this sentiment.
And even if eyesight is deteriorating, people can still drive with glasses. Refusing to wear them when you clearly need to can be a real problem at any age, especially if it leads to an accident. People can be charged with reckless driving.
Naturally, motorists would be affected by age-related problems they may face. The obvious ones are failing eyesight, slowing reflexes, getting tired easily, and having problems with the lights at night. Clearly, auto insurance companies watch accident statistics and they have already recognized certain problems with both older and younger motorists. That is why it is quite clear when we look at average car insurance rates by age that senior drivers get charged a bit higher premiums.
Again, it is hard for doctors to intervene because of medical reasons since people have certain health issues and can manage it with medicine and paying attention, and getting on with their lives. For example, most elderly drivers self-police their motoring. They choose not to get on the roads at busy times and take the car out when the roads are fairly quiet. They plan ahead so that they don’t need to drive at night if they don’t have to.
So, it is hard to say that someone must give up their vehicle when they only take it for local shopping, doctor appointments, and to meet friends. Those are perfectly acceptable uses and without them, they may feel locked in and even get depressed because of it.
However, equally, it isn’t hard to see signs that it may be about time. One of the reliefs is that seniors are well aware of their abilities and slow down accordingly and pay extra attention. Therefore, they usually start with knocking or scraping the automobile and perhaps a small incident or fender bender. When the number and frequency of these incidents increase it may be time for a relative to have a talk with them.
It is always best if they come to realize this on their own and give up the car keys before needing a family intervention. Nevertheless, it may be necessary for the family member to have a word and try to get them to see the deteriorating situation. It is very important that they shouldn’t feel they are forced to take this action.
This may lead to resentment that can brew into a rift between the person and his/her children or other relatives. This doesn’t help anybody and can lead to other health issues like deprecation or increased feelings of loneliness.