Changes in hearing, reflexes, and vision impact the ability to safely drive as you get over the age of 65. You should monitor your dad’s driving skills and be ready to pull his keys away when his reaction times decline.
Here are seven things to monitor when your dad is driving. Join him in the car and watch for these red flags.
- He Forgets Simple Safety Measures Before Setting Off . Before your dad even moves the car, he should make sure the seat is adjusted to the proper position for his needs. He must have his seat belt on. He should also check his mirrors to make sure they’re positioned correct.
- He Forgets to Use Signals. Signals are essential when turning onto a new road, taking an exit, or switching lanes. Does your dad always use his signals? If he doesn’t when he’s the only car on the road, it may not be as concerning if he’s forgetting when he’s in busy traffic.
- He’s Driving Too Slowly. On a busy highway, driving well under the speed limit is just as dangerous as speeding. Does he maintain speeds that either match the speed limit or are not too far under? Of course on icy or snowy roads, slower speeds are essential.
- He’s Easily Sidetracked. Does your dad lose focus while driving? Does he start looking for too long at his dashboard or a car or object on the side of the road? That habit can be dangerous.
- He Never Checks Mirrors. When moving into another lane, your dad should rely on mirrors and a check of his blind spots. If he never looks in his mirrors, it’s a problem.
- He Can’t Turn His Head to the Side. Being able to check his blind spots is crucial when driving. If your dad cannot turn his head without dealing with neck pain, he’ll struggle to see all of his blind spot. He must be able to look over both shoulders with ease.
- He Struggles to Move His Foot From One Pedal to the Other. If your dad has to pull at his pant leg to move his foot from the accelerator to the brake or vice versa, he should not be driving. He needs to have the muscle power to do this without assistance from his hand and arm.
Your dad will likely be upset with your decision, but it’s important for his safety. He doesn’t have to give up his freedom. Call an elderly care service and arrange transportation services for your dad. With an elderly care professional driving him to stores, medical offices, and other locations, he will have his freedom without risking his safety.