WTVM Editorial 11/4/16: Talk to elders about driving - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

WTVM Editorial 11/4/16: Talk to elders about driving

(Source: Emilie Arroyo/WTVM) (Source: Emilie Arroyo/WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Recently News Leader 9 reporter Emilie Arroyo took an in-depth look at older drivers and how to know when it's time to hang up the car keys for good.

You can watch the story here in case you missed it. It raises important questions about how to keep elderly drivers - and the rest of us - safe on the road.

Mobility is a big part of maintaining independence and respecting that is important. People age in different ways and at different speeds.

By their late 70s or early 80s, they may begin to show signs of vision, hearing and coordination problems. Then it’s time for those that love them to have an important conversation.

Your elderly parent or grandparent may believe they can still drive safely even with some physical impairments.

Before you have the conversation about giving up the car keys, experts suggest riding with the older driver to assess their skills.

If you think they could be a danger on the road you owe it to them, to be honest about their abilities and their safety.

It doesn't have to be a confrontation. A good first step might be limiting their driving to daytime hours.

Tell them how concerned you are for their well-being and appeal to their common sense and responsibility.

Their regular physician may even be able to help rate your parents' ability to drive. Help your loved one figure out alternate transportation or assure them you or other family members can be a reliable ride.

Older citizens are a tremendous asset to our families and the community.

If we treat them with the love and respect they deserve, including being open and honest with them, we may find they appreciate us helping them decide when to get off the road for good.

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General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road 
Columbus, GA 31906

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