The car pulls out slowly into the intersection, its driver obviously in no hurry to rush into traffic. A second driver impatiently honks the horn, glaring at the back of a gray head peering over the driver’s wheel.

It’s a stereotypical scenario for sure, but one that occurs daily and causes us to question the driving ability of one (or both) drivers. As more baby boomers nearing retirement age stay on the roads, the skill of elderly drivers may become a more prominent issue.

Whether you are reaching retirement age yourself or are worried about the driving skills of an elderly family member, it’s important to recognize the signs of a potentially unsafe driver. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests the following signs point to a need for driving restrictions:

  • No longer feels confident behind the wheel
  • Is easily agitated or stressed while driving
  • Hits curbs
  • Has several dents on the car or mailbox
  • Has trouble turning around to see while backing up
  • Gets confused at exits
  • Gets lost in familiar area
  • Fails to notice traffic signs
  • Fails to yield at an intersection
  • Fails to stop at stop signs or stop lights
  • Stops when unnecessary
  • Has trouble navigating turns
  • Has trouble staying in one lane
  • Cannot maintain the correct speed limit
  • Other drivers nearby often honk their horns
  • Has a delayed reaction to any unexpected traffic movements

Giving up a driver’s license or seriously restricting one’s driving is not easy. If you’re making the move yourself, we respect and applaud your courage to make the difficult choice. 

If you are facing an uncomfortable conversation with an elderly family member, you can help make the transition easier by reminding the driver of your love and respect for him or her and by offering alternate transportation modes, whether through public transportation or your own time.

If you or a family member has already been the victim of a serious car accident in Maryland, speak with a skilled Rockville car accident lawyer with Nickelsporn & Lundin who can help you get the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation call 800-875-9700.