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50+: Live Better, Longer

Assessing an Older Driver

Time to Park the Car?
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WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD

Nov. 21, 2001 -- How can you determine if an elderly driver is no longer safe behind the wheel? The American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety offers these guidelines:

  • Does the driver have difficulty working the pedals or turning his or her head fully to check blind spots when changing lanes?
  • Does the driver "miss" traffic signs or stop lights?
  • Do other drivers honk frequently at the driver?
  • Does the driver get lost or disoriented easily, even in familiar places?
  • Has the driver been issued two or more traffic tickets in the past two years or been involved in collisions or "near misses"?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, let the senior driver know you have concerns. Start a conversation about how the driver might sharpen skills. Or, if you think the driver should give up driving, seek help from his or her personal physician, the Department of Motor Vehicles, or others.

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