It is not uncommon for people who reach an advanced age to become unable to drive safely. One of the most important things you can do as an adult child is to carefully monitor your parent’s driving abilities and know when to step in and ask the parent to stop driving. There is no hard and fast rule that will guide you in knowing when the proper time is to have this conversation, but there are different factors you can look at to help you make that determination.
Medical Conditions and Prescriptions
Your parents must be able to see, hear and have the physical ability to control an automobile. This includes good reaction times, strength and physical dexterity. If your parent has experienced a decrease in any of these abilities, or is taking medication that hinder his or her ability to drive safely, you need to speak about safe driving immediately.
General Physical and Cognitive Decline
Even parents who are not taking medication and who do not have clear physical problems may have experienced a decline in either cognitive or physical abilities. This is natural with age, and isn’t always readily apparent. You may want to ride along with your parent as he or she drives to evaluate driving ability. Do this several times. If you notice significant problems, be prepared to talk about them.