Dangerous Driving: How To Talk To Seniors About Giving Up Their Car
For many Canadians, a vehicle represents independence. Personal automobiles allow us to get from A to B with ease and efficiency. Unfortunately, operating a vehicle as we age can come with increased risk — especially at night or in inclement weather.
Most fatal motor vehicle collisions happen to those aged 65+. That’s why it’s important to have an honest conversation about the risks of owning and operating a motor vehicle to help protect and support the older members of our family.
Signs that it’s time to talk to a senior about their driving
If you’re unsure when to initiate a conversation with an elderly loved one about giving up their motor vehicle, here are some common warning signs of unsafe driving:
- Drifting into other lanes
- Straddling lanes
- Making sudden lane changes
- Ignoring or missing stop signs and traffic signals
- Increased confusion while driving in traffic
- Braking or stopping abruptly without cause
- Accelerating suddenly without reason
- Coasting to a near stop amid moving traffic
- Pressing simultaneously on the brake and accelerator pedals while driving
- And more…
If you’re unsure whether or not a senior in your life is experiencing these warning signs, we suggest speaking to friends or family members who’ve been their passenger. We also suggest going on a drive with your loved one to experience their driving habits firsthand.
Who should initiate the conversation?
The “right” person to initiate a conversation with a senior about their driving habits can vary from person to person. Who does this senior take advice from: Their daughter? Son? Spouse? Best friend? Doctor?
Medicare.org reported that, “According to a Hartford/MIT AgeLab survey, 50% of married drivers prefer to hear about driving concerns first from their spouses, and those living alone prefer to have these conversations with their doctors, adult children, or a close friend. Some older adults may also be open to hearing from a sibling, adult child’s spouse, or if necessary, a police officer.”
Weigh your options and consider having the right person be the one to start this sensitive conversation.
Questions to ask a senior about their driving habits
Knowing how to start this conversation can be the hardest part. Here are some questions to ask to get the conversation rolling:
- How are you feeling about driving?
- What signs would tell you that you should think about giving up driving?
- That was a close call the other day when we were driving. I worry about your safety.
- Do you recall doing ____?
- Everyone drives so fast these days – there was another accident just the other day. Have you had any concerns about driving recently?
We suggest that whoever has this conversation tries their best to be empathetic, stay objective, discuss alternatives (public transportation, have a friend drive), and be open to other solutions (tweak medications, new glasses, driving only during the day, etc.)
What to do with a vehicle when a senior can no longer drive
When a senior has decided that they won’t be driving any longer, the next question becomes what to do with their vehicle.
Depending on the age, condition, and value of the vehicle, you may want to consider selling it to an auto scrapper like Logel’s Auto Parts.
We know that selling your vehicle can be a hassle. That’s why we’ve taken measures to ensure that we make selling your vehicle as straightforward and painless as possible. On our website, you will see an option for a “Basic” sell your car quote, and an “Advanced” sell your car quote. Click here to access these pages.
Selling your car to Logel’s is a great way to get top dollar for your vehicle, without having to go through the hassle of finding a private buyer.
Contact us if you have any questions.