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"What if I see you, and I don't know that
  you're my daughter, and I don't know that
  you love me?"

"Then, I'll tell you that I do, and you'll
  believe me.”

    - Lisa Genova, Still Alice -

20 Warning Signs That an Elder is an Unsafe Driver

We’ve all heard the stories: An elderly woman hits the accelerator instead of the brakes and crashes into a building. A 90-year-old man backs his Cadillac onto a sidewalk and hits 10 people.

Driving helps older adults stay mobile and independent, but the risk of being injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash increases as people age. Statistics show that older drivers are more likely than younger ones to be involved in crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In fact an average of 500 older adults is injured every day in crashes.

Here are some warning signs that indicate a senior might not be safe to drive, according to the NHTSA:

  1. Drifts into other lanes
  2. Straddles lanes
  3. Makes sudden lane changes
  4. Ignores or misses stop signs and traffic signals
  5. Gets easily confused in traffic
  6. Brakes or stops abruptly without cause
  7. Accelerates suddenly without reason
  8. Coasts to a near stop in the midst of moving traffic
  9. Presses simultaneously on the brake and accelerator while driving
  10. Has difficulty seeing pedestrians, objects and other vehicles
  11. Is increasingly nervous when driving
  12. Drives at significantly slower than the posted speed or general speed of other vehicles
  13. Backs up after missing an exit or road
  14. Difficultly reacting quickly as they process multiple images or sounds
  15. Problems with neck flexibility in turning to see traffic on the left or right
  16. Gets lost or disoriented easily, even in familiar places
  17. Fails to use the turn signal, or keeps the signal on without changing lanes
  18. Increased “close calls” and “near misses”
  19. Has been issued two or more traffic tickets or warnings in the past two years
  20. Dents and scrapes on the car or on fences, mailboxes, garage doors, and curbs



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