Warning Signs of Unsafe Driving

Giving up the ability to drive can be a life changing decision for a senior. Although many senior living residents still drive, most at some point will have to give up the car keys. While you as an assisted living professional will not be the one making this decision for your resident, you may be the first one to identify warning signs that the time has come.

What are the warning signs that your resident is a hazard on the road and should no longer be driving? The Delaware DMV suggests watching out for the following:

  • Diminished eyesight
  • Suffered stroke or heart attack
  • Difficulty negotiating sharp turns and intersections
  • Hesitation over right-of-way decisions
  • Becoming lost on familiar routes
  • Feeling nervous or exhausted after driving
  • Receiving traffic violations or found at-fault in crashes
  • Neglecting to buckle the seat belt
  • Difficulty moving foot between pedals
  • Difficulty merging onto freeways or turning onto busy streets
  • Relying only on mirrors rather than turning fully to check blind spots
  • Missing stop signs and traffic signals
  • Frequently weaving, straddling, and drifting into other lanes without signaling
  • Attempting to turn from the wrong lane
  • Receiving frequent honks from other motorists
  • Finding scrapes and dents on vehicles, mailboxes, and other stationary objects

2 Responses to “Warning Signs of Unsafe Driving”

  1. Often times families ask us to take away the priviledge. How is this situation handled?

  2. Hello Stephanie. That is a great point! Often we are kind of “caught in the middle” in these situations. I would suggest starting with the resident’s physician to see if they have made a determination as to whether the resident can still drive. If the doctor says they are ok, and your DMV agrees there may not be much you can do. Your local Ombudsman can often be a good un-biased third party to help out in these situations.

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