Driving at any age gives mobility and independence, in old age we continue to maintain independence by maintaining normal activities that we are used to doing from our younger days.
However diminishing faculties, cognitive abilities and in some cases declined intellectual abilities makes it dangerous to drive during advanced old age.
Troubled eyesight, troubled hearing, longer attention-reaction time and losing focus can be detrimental in keeping the safety of oneself and others on the road.
Mostly when elderly people are restricted to getting behind the wheels, there can be an acceptance issue, it may amount to restricting their mobility and freedom, considering them as too old and infirm, making them dependent etc.
Many third world countries lack restrictions by law on driving in advanced old age. One can continue to drive without any health check after certain age even with diminished faculties. To keep the safety of oneself and others on the road, self-realization and admitting to the problems that makes driving more challenging would be of great help.
To help decide if one is fit enough to keep safety behind the wheels, ask yourself
- Do I have to face honking by other drivers often when I drive?
- In the last one year how many accidents have I made, even though it may be a minor rubbing off?
- Do I get confused with the roads? Do I lose my way?
- Do I not see things clearer until I come close to them?
- Do I lose interest in driving because I cause traffic snarls?
- Do I jump traffic signals without noticing the stop signals?
- Do I get complaints regarding my parking?
- Do I forget to lock my car?
- Do I have a problem in finding my way home?
- Am I ticketed by traffic police often?
In the above 10 questions if your answer to more than 5 questions are YES then it is time to re-consider being behind the wheels alone. Perhaps it’s the right time for you to get a health check before you think of driving.