Elderly Drivers: It Pays to Be a Playa
According to the Federal Highway Administration, drivers over 75 years old have the second-highest fatality rate after teens. CNN’s “When Dad Should Stop Driving” (what about mom?) warns that taking the keys away from an aging parent raises “tricky issues of independence and role reversal.” Marion Somers, author of Elder Care Made Easier (note: not “Easy”), provides a list of 10 question for sibs considering seizing the keys from Mom or Dad. Unfortunately, a lot of them apply to most drivers (e.g. "Does he or she do well driving locally but struggle at higher speeds or when directions are needed?"). She suggests a gradual curtailment for the old folks, rather than a single, indigestible dish of cold turkey (e.g. no children in the car, no highways, no driving above 45 mph). Somers knows of what she speaks. She says convincing her father to surrender the car keys was “one of the most serious and complicated issues that I've had to deal with." In the end, Dad’s “lady friend” was happy to pick him up for their dates. Which is nice, and all, but how old was she?