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Older Driver Safety: Tips and Talking Points for Caregivers and Seniors Behind the Wheel- ANAHEIM HILLS

More than 6,700 people 65 and older were killed in traffic crashes in 2016 – 18 percent of all traffic fatalities – according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Driving can become challenging for older adults, which can result in traffic accidents, injury, and violations. To remain safe as a senior driver, it’s important to recognize the physical and mental changes associated with age that can compromise driver safety.

According to, both physical and mental changes can prevent a driver’s ability to drive safely. These changes include:

  • Vision impairment. If your senior parent experiences vision problems, they may struggle with judging distance, recognizing other vehicles or obstacles, etc.
  • Hearing loss. Hearing loss may inhibit your aging parent’s ability to hear sirens, emergency vehicles, car horns, etc.
  • Joint pain and inflexibility. Pain in the knees, legs, or ankles can cause your senior parent to struggle when moving their foot from the accelerator to the brake. Additionally, swelling and stiffness can impair your senior parent’s mobility, especially when they need to look over their shoulder.
  • Decrease in strength. A decrease in strength can make steering the vehicle harder to manage.
  • Reaction time. As your senior parent ages, their brain will need additional time to process the information it receives.
  • Attention span. Becoming easily distracted can cause your senior parent to lose focus on the road.
  • The older your parent gets, the harder it is for them to maintain concentration for extended periods of time.
  • A loss in cognitive abilities will impact your senior parent’s ability to remember their destination, remember the meanings of traffic signs, etc.

As a family care partner or caregiver, it can be difficult to start a conversation about driver safety with your senior parent. If you are concerned about your senior’s safety on the road, remember these tips to have a productive, compassionate, and successful discussion:

Focus on safety. Is your senior parent driving safely? Assess and discuss the driving skills of your senior parent in a productive, meaningful manner. If you identify specific warning signs or dangerous habits, share these signs with your parent. In order to ensure that your parent is driving safely, make note to determine if your parent:

  • Stops at all stop signs and looks both ways to check for cross traffic.
  • Stops at red lights.
  • Appropriately yields the right-of-way.
  • Responds properly to other vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and road hazards.
  • Merges and changes lanes safely.
  • Stays in the lane when turning or driving straight.

In addition, you want to observe whether your aging parent:


  • Slows or stops inappropriately, such as at green lights or in intersections.
  • Drives too fast for road conditions.
  • Drives so slowly as to impede the safe flow of traffic.
  • Drives aggressively.
  • Gets lost routinely on routes that should be familiar.

Discuss independence and show support. The thought of surrendering your driver’s license can result in depression, isolation, and loss of independence. Make sure to discuss alternative transportation options with your senior parent to help them maintain a level of personal independence. It’s key to show compassion for your senior parent when discussing driver safety, as loss of driving privileges and independence can be very difficult for your senior parent to face. Listen to your parent through the process and work to help them find appropriate solutions to help them maintain dignity and independence.

If signs show that your senior parent is driving unsafely, SYNERGY HomeCare Corona, Riverside, and Anaheim Hills is here to help your senior parent maintain independence while traveling safely. SYNERGY HomeCare Corona, Riverside, and Anaheim Hills in-home caregivers provide transportation services, which means your aging loved one can still run errands, attend doctor’s appointments, and visit with friends and family – all without driving alone.

Driver safety can be strengthened with a few helpful tips. If your senior parent still maintains independence on the road, encourage them to:

  • Stay physically active.
  • Schedule regular vision and hearing tests.
  • Manage any chronic conditions.
  • Understand their limitations.
  • Drive when the roads are in good condition.
  • Update their driving skills.

About SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills
SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills is the name you can trust in Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Yorba Linda, Tustin, Santa Ana, Orange and Placentia for personal home care. SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills is part of a national franchise of non-medical home care offices dedicated to providing exceptional and affordable service to anyone of any age.  SYNERGY HomeCare caregivers are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, to those in need – including seniors, expectant moms, those suffering from sports injuries and debilitating illnesses, and more.  SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona & Riverside can be found online at The location also hosts active social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. Ken and Anna can be reached at 714- 706-1613 and [email protected].