As a senior citizen, one of the biggest decisions you will have to make is when to stop driving. It’s often best to stop driving of your own accord than to wait until the State decides for you. While it can be difficult to accept that your days of cruising the open road on your own are over, it’s important to remember that it’s not the end of your independence. You can still lead a very enjoyable and exciting life without a driver’s license. If anything, it’s a good opportunity to rope your children into driving you wherever you want to go, or even your grandchildren if they’re old enough! Here’s what you need to know about when it’s time to stop driving.
When deciding whether you should stop driving or not, the first thing you should do is assess your health. If you have been experiencing vision problems, poor coordination, delayed reflexes, or have trouble hearing, you should consider giving up the keys. Vision problems have a massive impact on your ability to drive safely. Imagine driving straight past a stop sign into oncoming traffic or through a red light because you didn’t see it. All it takes is to miss one little movement and you could accidentally hit somebody with your vehicle. If you were to hurt someone with your car, you would never be able to forgive yourself. Likewise, if you have difficulty hearing, you could easily get into a fatal accident because you didn’t hear someone honking their horn. Your coordination is also extremely important when evaluating your ability to drive safely. Driving requires a great deal of coordination. For example, when you enter the freeway you have to turn your head quickly to check for traffic, turn your blinker on, brake and accelerate and mergeinto your lane. This can be very hard to do if your coordination is off.
If you have these conditions, don’t drive
There are certain medical conditions that affect one’s ability to drive more than others. If you have any of the conditions listed below, you should give up the keys and stop driving voluntarily before someone gets hurt.
Arthritis can be dangerous when driving because it affects your ability to use your hands. You have to be able to use your hands quickly and effectively when on the road. Imagine trying to rapidly turn your steering wheel to avert a collision and crashing into a vehicle because your arthritis makes it too difficult to turn the wheel. The same goes for braking and accelerating, you need mobility of the legs, knees, hips and feet.
If you have a recent history of seizures, it’s best to stay off the road. When you have a seizure, you can’t control your movements. The fact that seizures are difficult to predict makes them all the more dangerous when on the road.
Likewise, Parkinson’s is also very dangerous for seniors trying to drive. Parkinson’s affects your ability to control your movements. Your leg could suddenly depress the gas pedal and you will be unable to avert a crash in time.
Cataracts are also dangerous when driving. This is because cataracts make it difficult to see. There simply isn’t a way to drive safely without clear vision. Driving with cataracts is an unnecessary risk that can put yourself and others in grave danger.
Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease should make the decision to stop driving. When you have Alzheimer’s disease, you can get confused very easily and forget where you are going or how to get home which makes travel very dangerous.
Why it’s important to know when to stop driving
For those of you wondering why it’s important to know when to stop driving, consider this. If you wait too long to give up the keys you could cause injury or even death. If your children are worried about the fact that you are still driving, you need to look at it from their perspective. It’s common for relatives to become concerned about parents or grandparents that still drive when they have multiple medical issues. By continuing to drive when your health conditions are affecting your ability to do so safely, you’re putting yourself and others at risk. Imagine driving your grandchildren into town and accidentally crashing into another vehicle, causing a traffic accident in which there are no survivors.
Something to keep in mind
The crashes per mile traveled increase sharply after age 70. This means that once you are 70 years old,your chances of being in an automobile accident increase significantly. That said, if you are in reasonably good health and your driving performance has not been affected by your age, you may choose to keep driving for a little longer. The key is to know exactly when to stop. Don’t let anyone pressure you into giving up your driver’s license until you are certain that it’s time to stop driving. If you are experiencing health conditions that are inhibiting your ability to drive safely and you have noticed that driving has become more difficult for you, it’s time to give up the keys.
How to manage without a driver’s license
Once you stop driving, you’ll need to arrange for transportation and deliveries. You’ll have the option of paying a service to give you a ride to town or having things delivered. Usually, seniors opt for a combination. Some things are best delivered while others require a trip to the store. This begs the question, how are you going to pay for it all?
One of the easiest ways to raise a large amount of money in a short amount of time as a senior is to sell your life insurance policy. By selling your life insurance policy you’ll have plenty of money to pay for transportation and deliveries.
How MRE Finance can help
Here at MRE Finance, we understand the many challenges that seniors face including the challenges that come after you stop driving. We’re here to help you overcome those challenges by guiding you through the process of selling your life insurance policy for cash. Once you have the money you can live in comfort without ever having to worry about how to pay for deliveries and transportation.