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Driving Becoming Dangerous - What to Do?
Old 11-03-2020, 03:28 AM   #1
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Driving Becoming Dangerous - What to Do?

My FIL is 88. We are noticing his driving is becoming very dangerous, at least when we are in the car. We expect it's only a matter of time before he gets into an accident.

His ability to drive is very important to him and his wife. They go out for lunch and often walks or shopping about every day. That is their chief source of recreation.

I don't think he realizes that his driving has deteriorated.

We are worried. Do you have any suggestions for how to get him to realize what is happening, and limit his driving? It will be a major blow to him, we think, because it's integral to his life...

We hope they can sell their house and move into independent living. There, there will be a van service which maybe they can use. With luck, he will find this more convenient than driving himself.

Thank you all!
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Old 11-03-2020, 05:18 AM   #2
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Check with your DOT and see if there is a way for them to require him to get a driving test.
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Old 11-03-2020, 05:49 AM   #3
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Possibly Uber type service, although probably too much money on a daily basis.
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Old 11-03-2020, 05:52 AM   #4
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If the man is unjustly proud of his driving and his wife enjoys his chauffeuring, why would they switch to paying for rides?

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Possibly Uber type service, although probably too much money on a daily basis.
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Old 11-03-2020, 06:11 AM   #5
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If the man is unjustly proud of his driving and his wife enjoys his chauffeuring, why would they switch to paying for rides?
Umm because of what the OP stated in post #1 about being worried that he will have an accident sooner or later....
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Old 11-03-2020, 06:20 AM   #6
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I think it's time for a visit (even outdoors, etc.,) and a good long chat. Heart to heart. Dad, we're worried, for you, for Mom and for everyone else on the road. It's time. Here are options, etc. He might just be waiting for someone else to say something.
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:12 AM   #7
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Duh, but it doesn't sound like OP is planning to force the old couple to do anything. OP wants a way to persuade them they must change. But why would they, if they like the way they're living and don't see anything wrong?

My experience with old age tells me we become extremely stubborn, and tend to deny and rationalize everything unpleasant. Either that, or become very dependent and needy. There seems to be very little middle ground.

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Umm because of what the OP stated in post #1 about being worried that he will have an accident sooner or later....
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:20 AM   #8
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Unfortunately, usually it takes an accident or two for some people to realize that it is no longer safe for them to drive.

For my BIL's dad, he crunched his own garage a couple times and that was it... even after that he was resistant but did finally agree to stop driving.

My mom pretty much voluntarily agreed to stop driving... my sisters convinced her that her reaction times were degrading so that she shouldn't drive anymore.

With DW's great uncle, we rode with him to a local restaurant for lunch as our car was packed for a trip and didn't have room for all of us and the telltale sign was that he sideswiped a couple bushes along the road... I relayed that info to his son and the son took it from there.

Uber may be an alternative.
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:28 AM   #9
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I have hired "Senior Helpers" service for family for drives to shopping or doctors when needed. It cost approx. $20 hour.
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:30 AM   #10
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Thank you all for your ideas. Since it's my FIL, it's up to their two daughters to have the conversation. I will let them know about all the thoughts here and see what they do.
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:30 AM   #11
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Unfortunately, usually it takes an accident or two for some people to realize that it is no longer safe for them to drive.
I am afraid this has been my personal experience. Father, FIL and just last week a dear older friend. Fortunately none of those accidents resulted in serious harm to anyone. I've asked DW to remind me of this at an appropriate time in the future. Maybe by then, self-driving cars will be a viable option.
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:32 AM   #12
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Yes, I think self-driving cars will be a godsend for these dilemmas.
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:35 AM   #13
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Gradually.

For my folks, we requested they not drive certain hours/days (rush hours, night time, inclement weather, etc...). But, that meant we need to pick up driving duties at times (for dr visits on rainy days, grocery trips for that jug of milk they need this evening).

Also, there was a discussion anytime a new dent or scratch appeared on their vehicle.

FWIW, they would never have called an Uber no matter how many times we explained it to them.

Finally, when my dad could no longer drive we had an intervention of sorts. He agreed but was totally demoralized.
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:41 AM   #14
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Yes, I think self-driving cars will be a godsend for these dilemmas.
you think? Idk, I worry that the same folks who refuse to give up driving are the same who won't embrace the new technology. If they aren't already calling an uber...
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:41 AM   #15
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Does anyone have a reference to how many and/or what percentage of serious accidents are caused by older drivers who should not be driving?

I am looking for things that go beyond small property damage such as where serious injuries occur.

Ideally the reference would have this broken down by age group to show "how much more" dangerous seniors really are statistically.

I am trying to figure out if this is a rational fear or not (not the OP's, but society's in general).

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Old 11-03-2020, 07:42 AM   #16
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This is a tough situation, because transportation by strangers today exposes them to more of the public during a pandemic. If there is no family nearby to pick up some of the slack, this is tough.
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:43 AM   #17
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My dad had a stroke that left a dead area in his vision. It was brain related, not his eye. Strangely, even if he turned his head or looked aside, that same area was blank. Not something that could be compensated for while driving. When my dad ran into my parked vehicle with his lawn tractor, we had a long talk. Fortunately he agreed and stopped driving and sold his car. It is a tough discussion for a son to have with his dad, but necessary. I know my time will come if I live long enough. Being a car guy, I will probably be a difficult sell.
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:45 AM   #18
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This site has some information that may be useful:

Licensing-renewal procedures for elderly drivers
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:51 AM   #19
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We (my sisters & I) took my Mom out for lunch and basically told her (in a very nice way) that her driving days were done and we were taking away the keys. Gave her alternatives (the Township Senior bus, we'd run some errands for her, etc.). She resisted a little, but not too much... then we had a junk service come and buy her (very old) car.
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Old 11-03-2020, 08:17 AM   #20
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My dad had a stroke that left a dead area in his vision. It was brain related, not his eye. Strangely, even if he turned his head or looked aside, that same area was blank. Not something that could be compensated for while driving. When my dad ran into my parked vehicle with his lawn tractor, we had a long talk. Fortunately he agreed and stopped driving and sold his car. It is a tough discussion for a son to have with his dad, but necessary. I know my time will come if I live long enough. Being a car guy, I will probably be a difficult sell.
A little over a year ago I had a stroke and the neurologist noted that I had lost peripheral vision to my left. Since it was part of my official medical records, I knew that it could be used against me if I was ever involved in an accident, especially if the accident involved physical injury to another. I could be sued big time and have a lot to loose. Had to take a range of vision test and meet the state minimums before I felt comfortable driving again. Could your FIL pass all required vision tests?

Having been hit by a car while waking my pooch about 3 years ago, I may be more cognizant of the possibilities. The driver of the vehicle turned directly into the sun and didn't see me in the cross walk.

At 70, I avoid driving at night and if the roads are wet, I have no business behind the wheel.
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