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Driving – Should I Continue to Drive?

From the day we pass our first driver’s test, the privilege of driving is a major part of an adult’s independence. Our team at Elderwerks is often asked to intervene on behalf of adult children having a difficult time asking aging parents to give up the keys.

Fact is that driving is clearly about safety for the driver and everyone else nearby. When to cease driving is a very personal and individualized decision. We see many folks in their nineties who are still good drivers and that can carry on doing so. On the other hand, there are younger people in their fifties who are awful drivers that shouldn’t be on the road. It’s also a fact that driving skills are more of a health factor than age. If you’re capable of driving, you should continue to do so.

Stubbornness is not a sufficient reason to keep driving. Here are several reasons to give up driving:

  • Scared to be on the road with other people
  • Bad vision or reduced peripheral vision
  • Very slow reflexes and response to breaking
  • Signs of memory loss and/or confusion; forgetting where you’re going
  • Mini accidents
  • Dents and bruises on the bumper and door panels
  • Near-misses
  • Trouble following signals, signs and markings
  • Road rage
  • Easily distracted and have difficulty concentrating
  • Receiving multiple tickets and warnings


If family members suspect their loved ones pose a danger to others on the road there are options. Monitor your parents while they are driving and offer your opinions on their driving habits. It’s a hard conversation to have, but necessary. It may be time to tell them it’s time to stop driving and take the keys away.

The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State offers a Super Seniors program which is a convenient and voluntary program for driver’s license renewal, which includes Rules of the Road classroom instruction, and a vision-screening exam. The course also includes a review of safe driving techniques and Illinois driving laws.

An understandable fear of losing one’s independence is the central factor prompting seniors with waning skills to remain behind the wheel. Offer options before asking a loved one or friend to turn over the keys. Research transportation options or even have them consider downsizing to a senior community or moving to a home near a train station or bus stop so they can continue to live independently.

Driving is serious business at any age. Choosing to be responsible and retiring from driving is a far better option than a potentially fatal error.

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Finding assisted living or other types of aging care can be overwhelming. Let our dedicated team help you navigate your options.

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