Merck Manual

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Warning Signs of Unsafe Driving

Warning Signs of Unsafe Driving

Older drivers and their family members may want to consider the following factors as they determine whether it is still safe to continue driving:

  • Do they get lost while driving, forget the destination while driving, or return home late from a routine drive?

  • Do friends or family members worry about their driving or have stopped accepting rides?

  • Have they had more near-misses lately?

  • Do they have difficulty seeing other vehicles and reading and reacting to road signs?

  • Does traffic congestion, a busy intersection, or making left turns make them anxious?

  • Do they drive too slow or too fast?

  • Do they feel other drivers drive too fast?

  • Is driving stressful or tiring for them, or do they become angry or confused while driving?

  • Is the glare from oncoming headlights or street lamps bothersome?

  • Do they have trouble turning the steering wheel, pushing foot pedals, looking over their shoulder when backing up, avoiding curbs, staying in the lane, or parking?

  • Do they sometimes confuse the gas and the brake pedals?

  • Have they had accidents in which they were at fault in the past year, or have they been stopped by the police because of their driving?

  • Have they fallen in the last 1 to 2 years?

  • Do they make slow or poor decisions when driving?

  • Do they sometimes forget to use mirrors or signals or to check for oncoming traffic?

Older drivers and their family members who are concerned about any of these issues may want to talk with their doctor or consult a driving rehabilitation specialist about ways to improve driving safety.