Published on March 27, 2018

On the road to safety

How to know if your driving skills are still okay.

older woman drivingIs it time to stop driving? Many older adults wonder about that—do you?

Even if you occasionally admit your driving isn’t the best, you may be reluctant to give up the keys. That’s understandable.

Driving gives you freedom and independence.

But it’s important to recognize when it’s time to park the car for good—for your own safety and the safety of others.

What you can do

If you’re worried about your driving, talk to your doctor. A treatable condition (like poor vision) could be to blame.

And remember: If you do stop driving, public transportation may not be your only remaining option. Some community groups may offer rides to older adults.

In fact, that’s another benefit of joining a Mercy LIFE Day Center.

Wheelchair-accessible vans transport seniors Monday through Friday from home to the adult day centers and to off-site doctor’s appointments.

“Our centers often take participants to places to shop like Walmart or on fun trips, like to a movie or a restaurant,” says Marybeth Hlavac, Director of Community Outreach. “And each van has an escort in case anyone needs extra support.”

Signs to watch for

Clues that it may be time to stop driving include:

  • You’re having more near accidents or putting more dents or scrapes on your car.
  • You’re getting more tickets. 
  • You’re making more mistakes, such as drifting into other lanes.
  • You’re having trouble seeing street signs or hearing sirens or horns.
  • You’re sometimes confusing the gas and brake pedals.
  • You’re often getting lost, even on roads you know.