foggy highway

Are You, or is Someone You Know, an Aging Driver?

By Mary Beth Daley, Staff Accountant 

Let me start by asking you a few questions. 

  1. Are you beginning to question your own safety and competency behind the wheel? 
  2. Are you wondering if it’s time to ask your parents to give up the keys? 
  3. Are you a professional who regularly has contact with aging adults? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, have I got a resource for you! 

Let me back up a little, if you will indulge me, I’d like to make this a bit personal. About five years ago, my siblings and I noticed our aging mother was beginning to have difficulties driving safely. We were consistently noticing new scratches, dings, and dents on the vehicle she was driving. Because these were mostly being caused by, “not seeing the pole or barrier” in a parking lot, we all chose to just let it go.  

However, after riding with her to a doctor’s appointment in a large city nearby, my brother reported, “It’s just not safe for her to be driving anymore!”  

This began the long and arduous process of trying to convince our mother that it was time for her to, “give up the keys.” We were ultimately successful in this effort, but I believe we would have benefitted greatly from information, assessments, and resources available online. 

The State of Michigan has developed a website, for the delivery of information regarding aging drivers titled, Safe Drivers Smart Options – Keys to Lifelong Mobility. 

On this site, you will find well-organized, extensive information, and resources regarding aging drivers. 

  • Maybe you’re an aging driver yourself and you’re questioning if you should be considering “Driving Retirement.” If so, click on AGING DRIVER. 
  • Perhaps, like my siblings and myself, you’re looking for some help on how to talk to your aging parents about when the time comes to stop driving and seek alternate forms of transportation. If so, FAMILY & FRIENDS or FIND A RIDE is for you. 
  • Lastly, the PROFESSIONAL’S CORNER is for law enforcement, health care providers, or other professionals who work with aging drivers. This is a wonderful listing of resources available for assessing and assisting the aging driver. 

So, no matter what your needs may be, I encourage you to check out these valuable resources. I sure wish my siblings and I had been aware of their existence when we were moving through the process ourselves.