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Rangie's avatar

Will you stop driving when you know when it is time?

Asked by Rangie (3656points) March 27th, 2010

Would you have done the same thing I did, if you were in my position? My mother had a brain tumor when she was 52. She had surgery and lived for 24 years. However, she had many small strokes. About 1 year after her surgery, she started driving her car again. She was in 2 wrecks (that were her fault). My great Aunt and 3 year old nephew were in the car. They had to use the jaws of life to get my aunt out of the car. Everybody was okay. Her decision making was not as good as it use to be. So she kept driving. My father would not stop her, because he didn’t want to hurt her feelings or take away her independence. I was afraid she would kill herself or someone else. First I called the DMV to see what they could do. They said there was nothing they could do, be cause it was her decision. So I called her insurance company, and told them what was going on. They immediately canceled her insurance, telling my parents it was because of the two accidents. My parents never knew I called. But my mother lived another happy 20 years. She was just fine with the fact that she could not drive anymore. I would imagine some people would not be fine.

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25 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

Have you driven in Florida lately? Clearly the majority of people never decide it is time.

jrpowell's avatar

I just wanted to say thank you. You did the right thing and probably saved some lives.

sevenfourteen's avatar

This is a really touch decision because so many older people see it as you taking away their independence. There are tests and professionals that you can refer to someone to assess their driving. I’m not sure if all DMV’s offer it but a doctor can refer you, sometimes hearing it from a doctor is all someone needs to know that it’s time and that relieves the stress of the family and possible guilt for taking the keys away.

escapedone7's avatar

I am not married. No one is taking care of me and no one will. I used to live in an area with a great public transit system. I could take a subway or bus to anywhere. Right now though I have invested in living in a more rural setting. The stores are miles away and there is no subway here. I think because of that, I may end up pushing my luck. I don’t have to worry about it for a good long time. But for me, ceasing to drive would mean having to move from my home to a more ideal location closer to stores or a more populated area with a transit system. That will be a pain in the butt. You can take comfort in the fact I’m on a rural road, and if I kill anything it will probably be a stray cow.

My life might change drastically before I get to that stage. Unlike some people though, I have no kids that can take care of me when I get old, I have no husband. I am on my own. I will hold onto my independence as long as possible.

snowberry's avatar

I’m sorry about your DMV. In Utah, you can call up and report an impaired driver, but the driver has a right to know who reported him. Since my dad lived with us, I was not about to call up and report him. He’d have been impossible to live with. I used to beg my neighbors to call for me, but nobody would. Finally I called my DMV and I had a conversation with them about my father. They set up an appointment to have me bring my father in. I had told the man very graphically what it’s like when my father drove, and he was very sympathetic. The plan was that he would be denied when I took him in, but Dad got sick and landed in the hospital, and when he came out, his doctor told him he couldn’t drive anymore.

slick44's avatar

I hope so. my gramy is 91 nd drives its scarey. but its hard for her to except that its time to quit.iam affraid 4 her and other drivers

snowberry's avatar

I hope I’m gracious when it’s time for me to stop driving. I think I wouldn’t mind if I could ride the bus or have someone take me places.

Rangie's avatar

@snowberry So you found yourself in the same situation I did. It is not an easy decision, but sometimes it has to be made. I have 3 sisters and none of them would do it. One sister said, “how will she get around? I can’t take her”. Again, it was all about her (my sister) as it usually is. The other 2 thought she would get depressed. I knew my mother a little more than they did. I spent 3 months in San Francisco, everyday at the hospital, when she had her surgery. And taking care of her 24/7 for 1 year after her surgery. She was the most agreeable, sweetest woman I ever had the pleasure of growing up with.

Futhermucker's avatar

It’s not easy to accept our limitations, but my 78 yo mom drove right thru a red light last winter and ran a guy into a phone poll. He very nearly died. Yet she refused to accept responsibility. There comes a time in all our lives we must acknowledge our age and limitations, and cast away our pride, lest we kill innocent bystanders.If that means riding the bus or hobbling on the sidewalk or whatever else it takes to survive, driving is a privilege we must earn, not a fundamental right

escapedone7's avatar

Wow. I don’t often envision myself living to 78 or 90. I somehow just never expected to live that long. I hope I do. There needs to be more transportation options for elderly in rural areas. I’ve worked hard to have my home. It would be hard to give it up.

Rangie's avatar

@Futhermucker Sorry to hear about your mom. I feel the same way you do. Maybe that is something that should be a short class the DMV could require for folks over a certain age or disabled for some reason or another.
How is your mom doing now?

Futhermucker's avatar

Yes escapedone7, my granny lived to 98 actually, and she was only half as stubborn as my mom. Above all else she dreaded relinquishing control

Rangie's avatar

@escapedone7 Most young people don’t think about longevity. Too many other important things on your minds. Perhaps when you reach that age there will be transportation in your area.

Futhermucker's avatar

Thank you for asking Rangie, my mom is… you know… 78 and counting….

Futhermucker's avatar

mom lives in NY truth be told and she still freakin drives

Rangie's avatar

@Futhermucker Wow, that poor man. I take it you don’t live in NY. For her sake I hope someone can get through to her, that she is endangering other people and maybe children, while she continues to drive. The last thing I want to do, is hurt anybody, in anyway. I know I will not have a problem stopping driving. I already refuse to drive on days when my vision doesn’t feel as clear as it should be. There is always a way to get things done.

YoH's avatar

I do not want to spend the tail end of my life regretting anything and I wouldn’t chance an accident that might put anyone at risk. So if family and friends begin to seriously question my ability to drive,I will stop driving.

whatthefluther's avatar

It was heartbreaking selling off my motorcycles, which due to a worsening condition had to stop before my automobile driving. Not being able to drive in Los Angeles is restricting, but I was resigned to the inevitability well in advance and stopped without pushing it beyond safe bounds. I quickly learned the ins and outs of internet shopping and the wonder of food that is delivered, as well as enjoying great support from friends, family and neighbors. Now, before you breathe that sigh of relief that the streets and walkways are now safer, I should point out that I just bought a new electric scooter that outperforms my prior one by just a bit: top speed old scooter 4mph… 18mph. So, get out of my way! See ya….Gary/wtf

YARNLADY's avatar

I hope I will. We recently had to deal with this with my Mother-In-Law. What finally happened was one young family member ‘borrowed’ her car for a couple of weeks to go to a job, and it just turned into a long term thing. There are four drivers in the near-by family who can take her where ever she wants to go, and she has a personal helper coming in twice a week to take her shopping and help with the work. We provided enough alternatives that she doesn’t miss it.

jrpowell's avatar

If Gary ever gets a sidecar for his scooter I get to ride shotgun first.

escapedone7's avatar

@whatthefluther That is a brilliant solution!

Just_Justine's avatar

My dad refused to stop it was heartbreaking eventually I had to take his keys away. I was seen as the devil. Thank heavens that is all over now. I became my dads mother. I don’t think he realized it was time to stop, he thought every one was just being mean and plotting against him. I am hoping I give in gracefully and realize when it is time to stop. I just wish someone else had taken his keys, but everyone pointed to me to do it.

thriftymaid's avatar

I am going through this with my mother right now. For now I have told her the police have restricted her driving to the drug store and the church, both of which are very close to her house. I talked to the police about how to handle. They said best thing, once I know she needs to stop driving, is to tell her a new law requires that she retake the driving test. She will not pass it. No driving and it’s not my fault!

MacBean's avatar

I did stop driving for a while, due to difficulties that stemmed from medical issues. I hope if/when it happens again, I’m as responsible about it. It was extremely frustrating to have to rely on others so much, but I didn’t want to hurt anybody.

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