Now that the holidays are over and you’ve spent time with family and friends, take a moment to consider how your elderly parents were handling things. For some people, it may have been a bit of a shock to learn that your parents have aged since last you saw them, and you may be wondering whether it’s safe to allow them to continue to drive. While people can still drive safely well into their 80s and even 90s, and teenagers are the most likely to be involved in an accident, there are some factors you want to consider if you believe it may be time for your parents to stop driving.
Everyone needs to be able to see to drive safely, and if your parents have developed glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, or other vision problems it’s probably a good time to consider taking away the keys. If the problem cannot be fixed or cannot be dealt with by not driving at night time, you’ll probably want to speak to an ophthalmologist or optometrist about your parent’s visual condition.
An elderly person who is involved in an accident is much more likely to die because of injuries sustained than younger people because of the lower level of physical strength. If you’re elderly parent does not exercise and is not in a good physical shape, you might consider talking about limiting his or her driving practices.
Consider Insurance Coverage
Perhaps the single largest risk for liability for an elderly person is his or her operation of a motor vehicle. If a loved one’s ability to drive appears to be on the decline, but he or she is nevertheless resistant to the idea of giving up his or her driver’s license, it would be prudent to investigate the auto insurance coverage in place and, if available, increase coverage including possibly adding umbrella or excess coverage.