Smith + Schwartzstein
Located In Morristown, NJ and New York, NY

Mom and dad: Too old to drive?

If you have parents who are getting up in age, one of your concerns may be that they should no longer be driving. Your parents may reach an age at which you know their eyesight isn't good or that their reflexes aren't as quick as they used to be. When will you know it's the right time for them to get out from behind the wheel?

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the number of crashes that take place per mile of driving increase significantly when a driver is 65 or older. Drivers 80 years of age or older have the highest rate of crash-related deaths other than teens. One possible reason is due to the frailty of the elderly, who may not recover as well from the same injuries as younger individuals.

How can you know it's the right time to take away your parents' keys?

The first thing to look for is each parent's health condition. Dementia and other diseases that impact judgment and agility make it dangerous to be behind the wheel, for example.

Next, look at how well your mom or dad sees. Visual impairment is a serious risk as you age, and if a driver can't see well, it puts him or her and others in danger. This also leads to the need to know how well your parent can hear. If he or she doesn't hear well, that also makes him or her a danger to others on the roads. If someone gets hurt, then the person responsible for the crash can be held liable.

Source:, "How to Know When It's Time for Your Parent to Stop Driving," Connie Matthiessen, accessed May 04, 2018

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