As a young person, your parents represent stability, and it may not really occur to you that things are changing.

It reaches a point when you begin to see the effects of old age or illnesses. Your parents start to lose the ability to do many of the things they used to do with ease. One of those ordinary activities is driving.

While lots of people drive way into their 80s, age and certain health complications like cognitive, vision, and mobility issues can make driving unsafe.

According to a 2019 injury statistics report, about 700 senior citizens aged 65+ were injured in car crashes every day.

Why Parents May Refuse to Give Up Driving 

It may not be easy to get your parents to give up driving because they are used to doing things themselves. Stepping away from the wheel can feel like losing control of their sense of independence.

Remember, losing the ability to do the everyday things you used to do can be frustrating. Also, there’s the issue of finding alternative means of doing things.

As a grown-up child, you must stay on the lookout for the signs that your parents should stop driving. Knowing when driving becomes unsafe for them and others will help when talking to them about the dangers.

These signs can help you know when your parents should stop driving:

  • They Can’t See Well

Loss of vision is a common problem among aging adults. Issues like age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and glaucoma are among the leading causes of vision loss that come with old age.

A less serious and normal condition but one that progresses slowly over time is Presbyopia. As you age, it becomes harder to see things clearly or judge their distance correctly.

With time, even without a serious eye condition, your parents may start to lose clear vision, which will affect their judgment on the road. If you notice your parents have vision problems, it’s time to discuss driving retirement.

  • They Are Forgetful

Forgetfulness and confusion can signify cognitive decline, a normal process in aging adults.

If your parents are being more forgetful than usual, it’s time to initiate the discussion on driving. 

Keep in mind that frequently forgetting things can impair driving skills as it’s important to remember the turns and signs on the road. You may want to drive beside your parents to observe their level of forgetfulness.

If you notice incidents of confusion, then that’s more concerning as they can’t drive safely anymore.

  • They Are in Pain

If your parents are suffering from chronic pain or a painful condition that affects their movement, you shouldn’t let them drive.

Pain can be highly distracting depending on intensity, and that’s a terrible state to be in while behind the wheel.

The thing with pain is that it doesn’t just affect focus. It impairs reaction time, especially when moving certain parts of the body is accompanied by pain.

  • They Struggle with Fatigue

Many older adults suffer from fatigue caused by a host of issues, including medications, certain illnesses, medical treatments, poor lifestyle, etc.

You may be able to address what’s causing fatigue, in which case, your parents can go on driving. 

However, fatigue can be a natural part of the aging process as muscles lose strength and mass. Driving should be discouraged if you feel like fatigue disrupts your parents’ normal activities.

  • They Display Slowed Response

As we age, we develop slowed responses because the connections in our brains are breaking down. The delayed response in physical movement is a natural process that occurs as a result of age-related degeneration of the Corpus Callosum.

If you notice instances of slowed reaction time in your parents, talk to them about stepping away from the steering wheel.

The effects of delayed reaction generally begin to become more noticeable in older adults 65 years plus. Over time, the effects worsen, making it extremely dangerous to drive.

Final Thoughts

If your parents are beginning to have difficulties driving, either because of illness or old age, try getting them to stop driving. Sure, you may face resistance because we all love our independence, but it’s important to help your parents understand what could happen on the road.

An effective conversation may rely on facts. Show your parents the stats on accidents involving senior citizens. If they have had an accident already, have that conversation first before bringing in legal representation.


By Roman Jaxon

Roman Jaxon is an Entrepreneur, Blogger, Advisor & SEO Expert. He also loves to write content on various Niche. One of his popular niches is Business, tech, and Fashion, Lifestyle. He was born in Fresno, USA. He studied at Yale University, Cambridge. He is a passionate blogger who loves to work for 12-13 hours per day and Coffee lover. He hates the 9-5 jobs seriously.