Your elderly parent’s pride is often tied up in their ability to remain independent. So, if you notice they are no longer able to drive safely, it is time for a discussion about whether they should continue driving at all.
This conversation can be difficult, and it is often a blow to your parent’s pride. Still, your elderly parent needs to understand how unsafe driving is negligent driving. Read on for some tips on how to have this essential conversation with your parents.
How to discuss unsafe driving
First, you will want to decide exactly who will initiate the conversation with your parent. It may be your parent’s spouse, you, a sibling, you and your siblings, or even your parent’s doctor. It should be someone your parent is receptive to listening to.
Second, you should understand that it may not be a one-and-done discussion. The conversation may be an ongoing process, taking a matter of weeks or even months before your parent agrees that they can no longer drive safely.
Third, choose the right time for having this conversation. It should be at a time when your parent is relaxed. If they are irritated, tired, hungry or otherwise in a bad mood, they are not likely to be receptive to what you have to say. Do not spring the conversation on them unexpectedly.
Explain how unsafe driving is negligent
You need to explain to your parent that unsafe driving habits are negligent. Some issues the elderly have with driving involve:
- A decline in their vision, making it difficult to see signs and other vehicles
- Reduced reaction times, making it difficult to respond to emergency situations
- Medications that make them drowsy
- Diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia that affect their understanding of their surroundings
Any of these problems can easily lead to driver errors that cause a car crash.
Unsafe driving practices can often satisfy the elements of negligence. Your parent must drive responsibly. If they do not meet this duty of care, they can cause a car accident. If the crash caused someone else to be injured or otherwise suffer compensable damages, your parent could be legally liable for the cause of harm.
Only an attorney can determine if your parent’s driving habits are negligent. Still, it can help to encourage your parent to give up driving before they cause a car crash. This keeps them and all others on the road safe.