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Concerns over Elderly Driver Safety

When Should Grandma Give us the Keys?

When Should Grandma Give us the Keys?

Most elderly drivers have a lot of positive things going for them when they get behind the wheel of a car. They bring years of experience and judgment to driving, and seniors are also likely to make good decisions about avoiding driving during times when road conditions are hazardous. However, it might seem unfair when senior drivers get lumped with teen drivers as risky drivers to insure.

Teens are considered a risky and expensive group to cover by insurers, and nobody who has ever had a young driver in the family ever needs to ask why. Seniors are different than teenagers, to be sure, but car insurance companies tend to go by historical evidence of past claims. The truth is that seniors may lack visual acuity, good hearing, and quick reaction times – and these are traits may teens do have.

This is why car insurance rates for seniors and teens tend to be higher than they are for other age groups. While elderly drivers usually have the virtues of experience and caution, they may be more likely to suffer injuries, have slower reaction times, and suffer form poor vision or hearing.

When is It Time for Grandpa or Grandma To Turn Over the Car Keys?

This can be one of the toughest challenges most boomers ever have to face. It is not easy to speak with an elderly parent about driving. It might be made doubly hard because that very parent was the one who put up with you during your own teenage years and even taught you to drive way back then. Some seniors may still be able to drive, but they should give up driving at night, when the weather is bad, or on busy streets.

Defensive Driving for Seniors

Either way, there are some defensive driving courses aimed specifically at elderly drivers. Some of these even include professional counselors who can evaluate Grandma or Grandpa behind the wheel and make suggestions. These suggestions may include driving during good conditions or even totally turning in the car keys.

Anyway, it might be a lot easier to insist that your elderly parent or grandparents shows up at a defensive driving course than that he or she totally gives up on driving. If he or she really needs to stop driving, you can get the assistance of trained counselors to help you convince your mom or dad to do the right thing. Besides, taking one of these classes may help your senior parent or grandparent get cheaper car insurance prices before of a defensive driver discounts.

How to Help When Elderly Family Members Stop Driving

If you do need to insist that your elderly parent gives up on driving, you need to be fair. That means that you and other family members need to step in and offer rides for outings, errands, or appointments. It may even mean that you need to help your loved one move to a home that offers transportation or is close to public transportation.

Help Elderly People Find Transportation:

  • Many assisted living or independent living communities, for example, offer transportation.
  • Some cities have trains or buses that can help Grandma or Grandpa get around.
  • Family members need to step up and offer rides.
  • Some senior centers also offer transportation either with buses or volunteers.
  • Home health care businesses have professional caregivers that also may offer transportation for different needs.

When Should Seniors Stop Driving?

Many elderly people are very good drivers, and they can make up for a lack of speed with good judgment. However, when elderly people become a danger to themselves and others on the road, it is time for you to help them find alternative transportation.

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