When you were sixteen, driving was a symbol of independence. It was a sign that you could now get from point A to point B without the help of your parents.
But now, driving may have become more of a burden for you or your spouse.
How do you know when it’s time to pass on the keys to someone else?
Very rarely do people realize for themselves that they should no longer be behind the wheel. It is up to their friends and family to keep them safe. If you’re concerned about your spouse driving, tell them. But when you do, broach the subject with love and a concern for their overall wellbeing.
Here are a few tips for talking to your spouse or loved one about driving:
- Consider their feelings — if driving is a huge loss to them, don’t disregard it. Be sensitive.
- Be specific about your concerns. Generalized comments such as, “You’re not as quick to react as you used to be,” are easy to brush off. Cite specific instances of unsafe driving like, “Last week, you ran a stop sign because you couldn’t see it.”
- Use this driving safety checklist to help them realize for themselves the issues you might see.
- Don’t assume that this will be the end of their time driving. Adjustments such as new glasses or more sleep can increase safety behind the wheel — but remember that adjustments are not fix-alls. Safety is the #1 priority.
- Highlight the benefits of not driving, such as a change of pace, money saved, or social opportunities that can stem from other forms of transportation.
- Have a list of other transportation options ready. Don’t let them feel that hanging up their keys will leave them homebound.
- Emphasize that your concerns are about safety. You want your loved one to be safe, and you want everyone on the road to be safe.