Older woman sitting in driver's seat

Stop or Go?

Stop or Go?

You’ve seen the signs. Mom’s eyesight is failing, and Dad’s reaction time has slowed. You’re terrified that it’s time to take away their keys to the car, because you know that also means taking away their independence. How do you know whether it’s time to park the car permanently?

“Older drivers need regular health maintenance, eye exams and hearing tests to make sure they’re healthy and able to safely drive,” says Badia Harlin, DNP, FNP-C, nurse practitioner at the Senior Health & Wellness Center at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth. “Sometimes health issues can be easily treated or occupational therapy or adaptive equipment can be used, and in these cases, there’s no reason to no longer drive.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there are approximately 36 million licensed drivers who are 65 and older in the United States, a 34 percent increase since 1999. While those 70 and older drive fewer miles and drive less at night and in inclement weather, they’re more likely to die in an auto accident because of increased injury susceptibility.

Ready to learn more about seniors and driving? Buckle your seatbelt and take this quiz!

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