Elderly Drivers and Cell Phones

Monday, while coming home from a BBQ at a friend’s house, and it being labor day, Nick and I were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.

I was relaxed and feeling good until I noticed the old lady in front of us, who looked older than Grandma Moses, driving and talking on her cell phone.

I couldn’t help but notice her swerving off the road from time to time headed right into oncoming traffic and then I saw the culprit – she was talking on her cell phone, and in a construction zone – to boot!

Now I know that probably one of the worst things you could do to a senior citizen is to take away their right to drive, their independence of being able to come and go, something that they have known for most of their adult life. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to have that taken from you. But in all honesty, sometimes you get to the place where you just can’t do it anymore. It’s not healthy for you nor those on the road.

As you get older your reflexes start slowing down, your hearing is not as sharp as it always has been, and you just can’t multi-task like you used too, especially while driving. That’s just a FACT.

It’s such an important issue that AARP now has a defensive driving course offered for those age 50 and older.

Now then, add a cell phone or smart phone to the mix and that’s a recipe for disaster. We all had to listen to Oprah tell us not to text while driving, but I believe talking on the cell phone is sometimes just as bad, and more so, the older we get.

While I was in Alabama last month, (and I hesitate to put this in cyberland) but I was quite scared riding in the back of my mom and dad’s new car, while my 83 year-old dad drove and showed us his wild side (road rage).

And if that wasn’t scary enough, while driving back to the airport for my return back to Chicago, a lady in her 90’s (my Mom knew her) wasn’t paying attention while driving and almost hit us head on. I was like, holy crap – will I make it outta here alive?

I’m sure that taking away your parent’s driving privilege is no easy task – and I know that I’ll have to deal with this soon, but for yours, mine and their safety – it becomes a must.

Here’s a great article on just that.

About Sue Salach

Sue has a Master's degree in Gerontology and has worked with the elderly and their families for over 30 years and is the Author of "Along Comes Grandpa", a caregiving resource guide, and the novel "If I Walked in Her Shoes". As an ElderCare Expert and Keynote Speaker, Sue employs her comprehensive experience and passion, to educate and promote self-care values to family caregivers and the community at large.
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1 Response to Elderly Drivers and Cell Phones

  1. Pingback: Friday Funnies: Seniors, Road Rage and driving over Cop Cars « theworkingcaregiver

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