(ABC) – In your health – older adults and driving. When is the right time to hang up the keys and stop driving because of age?
Americans are living longer, which means they are driving older.
As we age, decreases in vision, hearing, reflexes and mobility can potentially affect a person’s ability to drive a car. Even if they have been driving for decades.
Certain medical conditions and medications can also affect one’s ability to operate a vehicle. And driving at night may become especially difficult.
But is there a particular age when people should stop driving?
Dr. Ericka Tung, geriatrician at Mayo Clinic explains that, “On average, people will spend six to 10 years of their life retired from driving”.
She encourages older adults to make the choice to retire from driving rather than risking a horrible car accident or obtaining fines from traffic violations.
Patients can discuss their health and life goals with their doctor to determine when the right time is to retire from driving.
Older adults can find out more information about driving rules from their local department of motor vehicles.
They can also seek resources in the community for transportation and utilize ride-share services.
Retirement from driving is not about loss of independence, it’s more about adapting and staying healthy.