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Today's read: When to give up the keys?

A tough decision for aging boomers: Many older people modify their driving behavior, the AARP found. More than half of drivers over the age of 75 say they avoid driving at night or in bad weather, and almost 40 percent of them stay home when traffic is at its worst, according to recent research. But they also resist taking transit. (Ashley Halsey III)

See also some guidance for families with senior drivers.

When I speak to community groups, this is a topic that gets a lot of attention. Older folks want to discuss how we can stay mobile as we age. Middle-aged people wonder what to watch for in their parents driving and whether to intervene if they detect deterioration in skills.

What are your experiences?

By Robert Thomson  |  December 30, 2009; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Driving , Safety  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Today's read, older drivers  
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My father probably drove a bit longer than he should have, but I'm proud of him for giving it up voluntarily. After my last drive with my mother, I swore I would take away her keys. She never admitted that she was no longer a safe driver, but she stopped. Even then, she kept her driver's license up to date, "just in case". One problem they faced was dependency on my sister, who lived a block away, for rides, because there was no bus to their neighborhood, and nothing was in walking distance.

My mother is gone now, and my father lives in an apartment that is a short distance from stores, but the stores are across a busy road that is impossible to cross when you move as slowly as he does. So he is still dependent - but at least there is a van to the senior center, and the driver will take patrons on errands for less than a taxi.

I pledge to my children that I will never live anyplace without good public transportation, and I will give up driving voluntarily when the time comes.

Posted by: jcflack1 | December 31, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

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