Are your elderly parents still safe to drive?

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

If your parents are retired, you may have mixed feelings about them continuing to drive. While there is nothing to suggest you suddenly lose your ability to drive safely the day you retire, increasing age does affect driving ability.

Eyesight gets worse with age, reactions slow with age and cognitive ability can deteriorate in later years. There is a reason that many states have laws requiring older drivers to renew their licenses more frequently, in person and with an eye test to do so.

Cars can be essential in keeping older people independent. If your parents did not still drive, you might have to shuttle them to the grocery store and to any appointments they have. While driving a car is not healthy per se, it can play a vital role in keeping older adults physically and mentally active. Perhaps your parents take their car to the golf club where they get physical exercise and social interaction. Or maybe they use it to travel to your sister’s house in Wilson, to look after the grandchildren once a week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 75-year-olds are especially vulnerable in the event of a crash. While a younger person may escape with injury, someone over 75 is more likely to die due to their body being more fragile.

As your mom or dad grows older, it pays to keep an eye on their ability behind the wheel. Try to ride with them every so often to make sure they are still safe to be on the road. Many older people are aware of their limitations and drive cautiously, but this can put them at risk if they go too slowly in fast-moving traffic. Other drivers can become impatient and try to pass when not safe causing a crash.

If your parents are injured in a Wilson car crash, seek legal help to understand the options for claiming compensation.