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
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
Patients often have trouble talking to their doctors. It can be hard to get the words out when the topic is emotionally charged or one you’d never bring up in polite conversation.
And for various reasons, sometimes including their own embarrassment, doctors may find it hard to bring up certain topics -- and that can compromise the care their patients receive.
“Communication is an inexact science,” says Bob Arnold, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and...