As your parent grows older, it’s natural to start worrying about their safety. You might wonder if they’re still safe to drive in Chicago. Certain warning signs can signal that it is time for an elderly parent to stop driving.

What makes driving risky for your elderly parent?

Although there’s no set age to stop driving, as your parent ages, certain changes can make it more likely they will get into a car accident. Physical changes such as vision loss and hearing impairment can make it more dangerous.

A loss of strength can also affect their ability to safely control a vehicle. Pain from age-related conditions can also make it more challenging to use the gas and brake pedals and switch between them when necessary, including in emergency situations.

Some elderly people also experience cognitive changes, which can also affect their ability to safely drive. If a person develops dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it can be very dangerous for them to be behind the wheel.

What are warning signs that driving is unsafe for your parent?

There are warning signs to look out for if you have reason to believe your parent be unable to safely drive. Recent or recurrent damage to their vehicle or structures outside your home is a sign. Traffic tickets appearing when they rarely or never got them before should be a red flag.

Your parent straining their eyes is a big sign that they might not be safe. You can spot this issue even if you’re not in the car with them. Other health issues like osteoporosis can cause problems seeing when your parent is behind the wheel. For example, if they have shrunken in height due to the condition, they might no longer be able to see even with the driver’s seat pulled forward.

Being sensitive and discussing your concerns with your parent might lead to change. If driving is no longer safe, it’s best if they stop.

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