Driving Tips for Seniors

A 95-year-old resident at Raleigh retirement community recently drove away. Wilton Rankin was reported missing from the Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community in Raleigh. Rankin reportedly went grocery shopping and did not return. After a Silver Alert was issued, he was found near I-540 and then returned to the Raleigh retirement community. How can families and caregivers prevent seniors from driving away? A senior driver who is not aware of their surroundings can be just as, if not even more, dangerous than a wandering pedestrian.

Warning Signs of Unsafe Driving for Seniors

Age will interfere with driving safety. Vision, coordination and reaction times change over time when comparing driving skills of young, adult and senior drivers. How can family and friends tell if it’s time to take the keys away from their elderly friend or relative?

  • Injuries, arthritis or weak strength. Recovery from a fall or surgery will affect reaction time.
  • Short attention span. Elderly drivers may not remember what different road signs mean—or worse, like the wandering Raleigh driver above, where they’re going and how to get home.
  • Medications. New prescriptions, or combinations of certain medicines, may hazardously affect a senior’s ability to drive safely.
  • Hearing and vision problems. As hearing deteriorates and eyesight grows poorer, senior drivers are more prone to accidents. Do you notice you need to raise your voice for them to hear you? Are they having a difficult time reading?

Accidents with Senior Drivers

When it’s time to talk to an older driver who needs to stop driving, the conversation will be delicate. Express your concerns. If helpful, bring a doctor into the conversation to provide a third party and professional perspective. Discuss the financial benefits of no car insurance payments, repair costs and gas budget. Have suggestions for alternative transportation. If your senior friend or relative was injured in a North Carolina car accident at no fault of their own, contact car accident lawyers in Raleigh at Brent Adams & Associates to schedule a free case evaluation. Brent Adams & Associates maintains three injury law offices in Raleigh, Fayetteville and Dunn.

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