How do I convince an elderly relative to give up his drivers license?

Even discussing the topics of competence and safety with an elderly driver can be difficult. Driving presents so many freedoms in the modern world, and the prospect of losing some of those freedoms can be scary.

If you believe that a senior citizen is no longer capable of driving safely, there are several assessments to make. Ask the senior to assess their own competence honestly. Are they still responsive enough to road stimuli—visual as well as auditory—to handle urgent driving decisions? Reaction time is a key factor in avoiding dangerous collisions.

You could also organize a fair but honest family assessment of the elderly driver in question. The more specific your examples, the better. "Dad, remember when you didn't even see that truck and almost rear-ended it? That's happened more than once, and I'm concerned about you driving alone now."

A more official approach might be a professional assessment. If you feel unable to convince the senior on your own terms, consider the professionals. Every state offers driver safety courses, driver training geared toward elderly drivers, and even driver assessment programs. These courses might point out specific faults to a senior they are unwilling to face themselves, and help you convince them to relinquish their drivers license.

It's also worth mentioning the significant savings that come with relinquishing your driving privileges and vehicle. Registration fees and maintenance costs disappear, and you could save your old back from shoveling a car out of the snow. Car insurance can become especially expensive for an elderly driver at increased liability.

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