Ralph sat in his running car at the gas station when a police officer approached him. “Can I help you sir? It sound like your engine is racing.” Ralph didn’t hear the loud engine because of his poor hearing.
Ralph later told his daughter that his foot was caught in the pedal. The police officer helped him dislodge it. Jane, his daughter, has been worried about his driving for close to a year. It’s frustrating to her that the police officer didn’t realize her dad has been in an unsafe situation before. Who can help when she knows her dad is unsafe behind the wheel?
Being older does not automatically eliminate the privilege to drive, but a number of factors need to be evaluated, including reaction time, cognition, vision, and possible correctible medical conditions like low blood sugar should all be evaluated with Ralph’s physician.
Some suggested steps to take if Ralph refuses to give up his keys and is found to be unsafe to continue to drive include:
- Contact the state Department of Transportation. This will most likely result in being called in for testing in order to keep license.
- Involve the Doctor. The person’s physician or any other health care provider involved in the person’s care can also send a letter using the state’s appropriate form with documentation of the individual’s unsafe behaviors or limitations to request revoking the license to drive.
Occasionally, there is an individual who continues to drive despite the drivers license being revoked. What’s a family to do? Disabling the vehicle by disconnecting the battery, removing the distributor cap, or having the car towed are the safest measures to be sure that an unsafe driver does not return to the road. Additional sggestions are available here at Agingcare.com