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Learning When It’s Time to Stop Driving

Driving is one of the most precious freedoms we have. Whether you’re in good physical shape or not,

driving opens up a whole world of opportunity for activity, entertainment and autonomy. Because we

equate driving with independence, it can become increasingly difficult for us to finally acknowledge that

our age has impacted our skills enough to warrant relinquishing our licenses.

Sadly, however, of the more than 36 million licensed drivers over age 65, there are many who need to

do the right thing and stop driving. If you aren’t sure if you should still be driving, take a look at these

three indicators and decide whether you’re still road-worthy.

  • You’re getting into more accidents or having more close calls. All drivers have the occasional

accident or close call—but if you’ve noticed that you have more than one or two of these each

year, it could be time to consider giving up driving.

  • You feel increasingly stressed or anxious when driving. In order to be a good driver, you need to

feel confident behind the wheel. You should not feel constantly stressed or under pressure from

other drivers, pedestrians, road signs and traffic signals. If you do, it could mean that your

driving is unsafe or that you aren’t able to respond as quickly as you once were, which might

mean it’s time to stop taking the risk of driving.

  • You notice more damage on your car. Sometimes, we don’t realize that our driving has

deteriorated until we see the number of new dents, scratches and nicks on our car. Another sign

that your driving skills have deteriorated is damage to your brakes, which people often abuse as

they feel less confident behind the wheel and react more slowly.

There is no single age at which every driver needs to turn in their license. While some might notice

impairments beginning as early as their 50s, others might still be safe, effective drivers well into their

80s. Whether you need to stop driving altogether or simply limit your driving to daytime or before

taking your meds, don’t be afraid to do the right thing for your own safety as well as that of others on

the road.

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