As your parents age, you find yourself in a reversal of relationships. While they were once the ones to worry about you driving when you first got your license, you are now worrying that they will suffer serious injuries if they are in even a minor car accident. If you find yourself needing to talk to them about their safety while driving, follow these tips.
Get Ready for the Conversation
You are almost certainly going to get objections if you try to tell your parent that you do not believe they are safe to drive. This is why it is best to prepare for the talk. If you can gather concrete evidence of their unsafe driving behavior, it may be harder for them to deny that they are a risk. You can do this by riding with them and then writing down the issues you saw.
Dangerous Driving Habits and Other Issues That Can Impact Your Parent’s Ability to Drive Safely
You should be looking for a variety of dangerous driving habits such as following the car in front of them too closely, delayed reaction times, not using their turn signal, or having issues staying in their lane. Other issues that can affect their ability to drive safely include a diagnosis of glaucoma and/or cataracts, new medication that has the potential to cause either dizziness or drowsiness, and hearing impairments. Any of these things is a good enough reason to talk to your parent about driving.
How to Start the Discussion with Your Parent
It is often the case that just starting the conversation is the hardest part. Pick a place to talk about it that will be free from distractions. Make sure you will have plenty of time to fully discuss it. Stay calm and keep your voice measured. You can begin by acknowledging that it is a difficult issue to discuss and you can understand why they would not like the conversation.
Then simply tell them why you are worried about their safety. List the concrete examples rather than giving them general advice. Talk about any medical issues they have that could affect their ability to drive.
Listen to What They Have to Say
It is likely that your parent is going to have a lot to say about this topic. You are having a conversation – you are not preaching to them – so be open to hear them out. Pay attention to their objections, acknowledge that you understand their concerns, and troubleshoot any obstacles they believe they would face if they could not drive.
If you or your parent ends up in an accident you should first seek medical care and then contact a personal injury attorney. You can reach The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.