Here’s another article I’ve come across.
Don’t be surprised if your aging parent reacts with some defensiveness if you raise the topic of driving skills. No one wants to have their independence snatched away! Make it obvious from the start that it’s a mutual goal to keep your loved one safely on the road. And that it’s not an all or nothing situation.
Here are several options for supporting your parent’s continued safe driving:
•Mature driver refresher classes. These classes are often sponsored by AARP or a local AAA club (American Automobile Association). Classes offer practical information on easy ways to accommodate the natural changes of aging. They tend to be informal and include a lot of group discussion. Plus, persons over 55 may qualify for a discount on their car insurance! Online classes cost less than $20 and are offered by both AARP and AAA. Or, contact a professional driving specialist for a personalized, behind-the-wheel evaluation.
•Staying physically flexible. Being able to turn to look behind you is critical to safe driving. Encourage your loved one to practice simple flexibility exercises.
•Maintaining car fitness. Make sure the car is properly adjusted for your parent. Especially important is the ability to see clearly in all directions. The addition of wide-angle mirrors, for instance, can help reduce blind spots. Be sure the wipers are in good shape. Maintain the car for road safety, too. Tires should be properly inflated and have adequate tread. And don’t forget to have the brakes checked regularly.
•Improving driving habits. A few simple changes can greatly reduce the chance of problems. Suggest Mom reduce or avoid driving at night or in bad weather. Stick to routes and times with less traffic. Make fewer left turns. (Three right turns are much safer!) And practice extra caution in parking lots and when changing lanes.