When is the right time to stop driving?

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It can be a tiring experience to advise an elderly family member to discontinue driving as they may consider themselves being asked to forego their freedom. Many won’t like the idea of quitting driving even though they know the risks involved.

You may not be the only person in dilemma. Still Safe to Drive is a website which takes care of such issues and addresses the matter without annoying the sentiments of the person involved. The site explains the risks involved in driving after a certain age. The website educates the elderly about the pros and cons of old age, the impacts of old age related diseases such as slow reflex actions, osteoporosis, arthritis, poor vision, poor hearing and lack of concentration. The website helps a driver mentally prepare to quit driving.

Rob Heard, Police sergeant of Hampshire said there has been an increased risk of crashes after the age of 75. He also emphasised that elderly drivers are not able to maintain lane discipline, are unable to give way to other vehicles and are poor at anticipating the speed and distance. He also said that there are more chances for elderly drivers to get involved in accidents at junctions where they are jammed by other vehicles.

Professor Andrew Parkes, Chief scientist at TRL states that there are two factors to find out if the driver is too risky to drive during old age. First aspect is based on self assessment; how the driver feels himself about his driving. Second aspect is how passengers feel about the driving.

As per the existing traffic law, any driver who reaches 70 years should apply for a driving license through DVLA. During the process of re-assessment, the driver needs to declare medical fitness and prove he/she has the required eyesight to read a number plate from a distance of 20 meters.