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September 22, 2009

When It's Time to Turn in the Keys

Aarp driving Nope, we’re not talking about that tactic for avoiding drunk driving after a party, here. This is about how long, as people age, are they able to drive safely. Though newer, high-tech safety features on vehicles can help divert the following problems, there comes a time for everyone.

 

How do you approach a family member when age related changes impact driving ability? Families nationwide struggle with these sensitive issues. Elinor Ginzler, AARP's Director of Livable Communities and a leading authority on older driver safety, encourages families to talk with loved ones about safe driving practices. According to Ginzler, these are the top ten signs that it's time to talk about limiting driving or handing over the keys:

 

1. Frequent "close calls” (i.e. near accidents).

2. Dents, scrapes, on the car or on fences, mailboxes, garage doors, curbs etc.

3. Trouble judging gaps in traffic at intersections and on highway entrance/exit ramps.

4. Other drivers honking at you.

5. Getting lost.

6. Difficulty seeing the sides of the road when looking straight ahead.

7. Slower response time; trouble moving foot from gas to brake pedal or confusing the two pedals.

8. Getting distracted easily or having trouble concentrating.

9. Difficulty turning your head to check over shoulder while backing up or changing lanes.

10. Traffic tickets or "warnings” by traffic or law enforcement officers in the last year or two.

 

Not ready to hand 'em over? Read more on this topic.

 

For more advice from RTM, visit our Auto Safety & Security section.

 

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