Being handicapped doesn’t prohibit you from driving safely. In fact, one of the biggest risks to driving safely revolve around drug/alcohol impairment and age. Below, we take a look at some of the key signs to look out for, indicating that it may be time to turn in the car keys.
5 Signs It May be Time to Give Up Driving
#1 – You have difficulty seeing and/or hearing.
As most people age, their vision naturally diminishes, making it more difficult to spot things in the distance or even throwing off their depth perception. Similarly, many people experience increased difficult in hearing. Not being able to hear properly is extremely dangerous as it makes it difficult (or impossible) to recognize important warning/safety signs, such as horns, sirens, or even screeching tires.
#2 – Your reflexes aren’t what they used to be.
As you age, you may notice that your reflexes are a lot slower than what they used to be. This can pose a real danger to you as well as other motorists and passersby. While driving, you rely on quick reflexes to react to potential hazards. Not reacting quickly enough may result in an increased chance of getting involved in an accident.
#3 – Medications
Always check with your healthcare provider to be sure that the medications you are taking are ok to be taken while operating a motor vehicle. Many medications impair your ability to drive.
#4 – Joint pain
Chronic joint pain in your neck, hands, or knees can make it difficult to do a number of required safety actions, such as: check your side and rearview mirrors, turn your head to check a blind spot when changing lanes, or even reach the gas and brake pedals properly. Should and hand problems can make it difficult to steer and/or shift the gears in your vehicle.
#5 – Mental changes
While dementia isn’t only limited to the elderly, it is still something worth noting as it affects mostly elderly people. If you experience any changes in your mental wellbeing, such as forgetting how to get home, or frequently getting lost or forgetting how to navigate to places that you once knew how to get to – it may be time for a checkup with your doctor.
Remember that even with all of the technological advances (such as backup cameras, sensors, lane assist technology, and more), driving is a privilege -not a right.
It is your responsibility as a United States citizen to consider not just the health and welfare of yourself, but also the welfare of those around you. Pay attention to the advice given to you from your healthcare providers as well as any observations made by family and friends. Most importantly, be honest with yourself to know when it’s time to turn the keys in for the last time.