Safety Concerns for Older Drivers
There is no predetermined age when seniors stop driving–the decision is an individual and deeply personal one. There are multiple concerns to consider when driving which can become more prevalent as drivers age. Driving dexterity is one thing to consider when determining your driving safety. If it is difficult to drive due to joint stiffness or pain and this pain affects your use of pedals and controls when driving, your reaction time when driving may be impaired. Another issue is vision and hearing while driving. If you have difficulty seeing the road or if you notice difficulty driving at night or during transition periods such as dawn and dusk, it may be time to assess your driving safety. It is also important to consider the side effects of any medications on driving abilities.
When should I be concerned about my driving?
Driving can be a frustrating experience sometimes for all drivers, but stay alert for indicators of other underlying problems. One area of concern is having more car accidents. Even if the accidents are small and no one is hurt, a sudden increase in accident frequency can be an indicator of decreased driving ability.
Three signs that it may be time to stop driving
A sudden increase in car accidents, even if the accidents are small and no one is hurt.
Changes in emotion around driving, including increased annoyance, anxieties, or fear.
Concerns of friends, family members, or healthcare professionals.
A change in the emotions surrounding driving can also be a sign of changed ability. If you find yourself more annoyed by high speed limits, anxious over lane changes, or developing a fear of driving at night, it may be time to reconsider driving. Another thing to look out for is whether you are hearing concerns from your family members or physicians. Take them seriously if they express concern for your driving safety.
How will I get around without a car?
Seniors often wonder how they will be able to maintain their independence without a car. If you live in an area with convenient public transit, city buses can be a good choice. However, in more rural areas, there are still lots of options for personal transportation. Ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft have become the go-to choice for many seniors. In the Asheville area, you can also call for a ride with a local service like AVL Ride. In Buncombe County, Mountain Mobility is another great resource for transportation needs.
What can I do with an extra car?
Once you’ve come to the conclusion that you have a car you no longer need, you’ll need to decide what to do with it. You could try to sell it, give it away to someone you know, or donate it to charity.
Should I sell my car?
One of the first options that many people think about when they get rid of their car is to sell it. This choice has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages is avoiding a loss if you owe money on the car loan. If you own your car outright or have paid off your loan, selling the car could allow you to reap some of the remaining value on the car. There are some disadvantages to selling your car, some of these stem from the method that most people sell used cars: private sales. Private car sales can be time-consuming and involve advertising, public meetups, and disingenuous offers. Depending on the value of your car, this can require an evaluation of the time cost and reward comparison.
Can I donate my car?
There are many benefits to donating your car and many different types of organizations that could use your car. Some clearinghouses will scrap or auction the car and donate a percentage of the profits to charity. Other organizations are more hands-on and use the car or its parts for families in need. One such organization is Working Wheels in Asheville, NC. Working Wheels takes donated cars and through collaborative efforts with other nonprofit organizations, turns the vehicles into working wheels for working families. Working Wheels works with twenty local partner organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Helpmate, Homeward Bound, and many other organizations to improve the quality of life for program participants. Car donations also present added bonuses for donors in the form of tax deductions.