Driving is one of the most notable signs of independence for the elderly. Unfortunately, not every senior can drive safely as they age. It can be very difficult for them to give up the keys, and some seniors might be in denial about when it’s time to do so. For their safety and the safety of others on the road, keep an eye out for these signs your elderly parent should stop driving.

Cognitive Changes

While your parent might still be able-bodied, driving shouldn’t be an option if their cognitive abilities are deteriorating. A few tell-tale signs your parent is not fit for driving include:  

  • Slower reaction time
  • Declining memory
  • Becoming easily distracted and having difficulty concentrating

Physical Changes

Likewise, your elderly parent’s mind may be sharp as a tack, but if they suffer from physical ailments, driving might not be a safe choice. These are a few conditions that can keep your parent from getting behind the wheel:  

  • Decreased hearing and vision can slow down reaction time and make it hard to respond to traffic patterns.
  • Neck and back pain can make it challenging to check lanes and safely make turns.
  • Weakness in the arms and legs can hinder the ability to press on the gas, brake, or maneuver the steering wheel.

Driving Habits

If you’re questioning your parent’s ability to drive, you should watch their current driving habits to determine whether they should still be on the road. Check for these habits while your parents are behind the wheel:

  • Too many close calls
  • Nervous passengers
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Difficulty keeping up with traffic

Giving up the freedom to go where they want will be hard for your aging parent. Unfortunately, no amount of safe driving tips for seniors can reverse the physical and cognitive damage that makes driving unsafe. As they age, look out for these signs your elderly parent should stop driving.