Giving Up the Car Keys

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Growing older presents many obstacles and for the fortunate who live long lives in relative good health, unavoidably there comes gradual losses of independence, perhaps the most difficult of which is giving up the car keys.  The loss of the ability to drive translates into not being able to run to the grocery store, attend church or visit friends without depending on others.  It can often cause panic at the thought, but if safety is compromised by a senior continuing to drive, it becomes a necessary sacrifice.

Often the decision to give up the keys is a joint decision between the senior driver and his or her family.  The senior may be questioning when he or she will reach the point that it becomes inevitable.  Often, the driver may cling to the keys for longer than is wise, and having family and/or friends help ease that transition is crucial.

Some of the indications that a person is nearing the time that he should not be driving are:

  • Confusion while driving common driving routes
  • Anxiousness in driving scenarios that once where effortless
  • Nervousness with once simple maneuvers such as merging
  • Delayed reaction time.

Human reaction time slows as we age and reaction time is crucial in avoiding automobile collisions, especially in dense traffic situations.  The aging individual should honestly assess whether they have had instances on the road attributable to decreased reaction time such as near miss collisions with other vehicles, animals or pedestrians. In addition to the above considerations, there are other changes as we age that can affect our ability to safely drive, such as decreased vision and/or hearing, or side effects from necessary medications.

For friends and family of the senior, it is a good idea to ride with the senior periodically to objectively assess his or her driving abilities.  If there is a question about whether it is time to give up the keys there are professional services available to assess the driver, through the DMV or a licensed driving instructor.

It is a major adaptation in the life of a senior, and generally not a positive one as it signifies a large loss of independence.  Family and friends should ensure that the senior has the ability to get around to shopping and church.  Many communities have driving pools that take seniors to popular spots as well.

I’m Ed Smith, an Elk Grove personal injury attorney with the most comprehensive and informative accident site on the internet, AutoAccident.com.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an automobile accident, please give us a call for free, friendly advice at (916) 921-6400, or if you are outside of the greater Sacramento area, toll-free at (800) 404-5400.

Be sure to check out our reviews at Yelp! and Avvo.

Updated:

Client Reviews

  • Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!
    Sincerely,
    ★★★★★
  • Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation.
    ★★★★★
  • Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything.
    ★★★★★
  • Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime.
    ★★★★★
  • I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone.
    ★★★★★
  • Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury.
    ★★★★★