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Parents Driving Badly: How Can You Make Them Safer?

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While your parents may have taught you table manners, about the birds and bees, and a host of other necessities for living, driving may not be one of their strong points. If you have a parent with bad driving habits, act now. You could be saving their life.

Are Your Parents Senior Citizens With Driving Issues?

Independence is precious to people as they get older, but unfortunately, driving becomes more dangerous as they age. If you're concerned about one or both of your aging parents behind the wheel, talk to them about how they can be safer.

Begin by suggesting exercises that are nearly guaranteed to make reflexes faster. Such exercises may also help prevent dangerous falls, because they also improve balance, specifically in people who have had strokes. Make sure your parents schedule regular eye exams too, and check with their physicians about medications that may impair driving ability. Additionally, consider the following options:

  •  Public transportation for trips around town, which is cost-effective or even free for seniors.
  •  Hiring a taxi once a week for necessities, or offering to drive them yourself.

Is That Speed Demon Your Mom Or Dad?

Bill Gates infamously sped in his Porsche turbo, seemingly without a care in the world. On the other hand, Paul Walker proved how deadly speed can be to the human body. Speed accounts for 28 deaths every single day in the United States, and it doesn't discriminate against anyone. If one of your parents is a lead foot, do something about it, before something tragic happens.

When you're in the car with them, simply tell them you don't feel safe at higher speeds. Refuse the ride if you know they're going to go too fast, and constantly remind them that you don't want to attend their premature funeral over an accident. They might just slow down with you asking them to, or you can try:

  •  Finding ways they can manage time better, so there's no pressure to speed.
  •  Putting a heart sticker on the speedometer, as a loving reminder.

Worried About A Parent Who Drinks Before Driving?

There's ultimately no excuse for anyone who drinks and drives, but when it's your mother or father doing it, simply approaching the problem can result in major family arguments. Still, you need to do something; anyone who knows about a drunk driver and fails to act is culpable for what may come of it, and may even be held accountable legally.

Your mom or dad may resist; however, a family fight is better than a family funeral. Suggest a course on drunk driving, counseling. or that parties be held at home instead of some other place your parent would have to drive to and from. You can also tell them:

  •  A driving course may lower insurance premiums, and open their eyes to the realities of drunk driving.
  •  You're embarrassed by their behavior, and simply can't tolerate it anymore.
  • A driving course is probably cheaper than attorney fees if your parents is arrested for DWI.

Do Distractions Get The Best Of Mom Or Dad On The Road?

Distracted drivers are more prevalent in the media lately, as cell phones have taken over people's lives, including while they're operating a motor vehicle. Alarmingly, about 660,000 texting or talking motorists are behind the wheel at any random moment during the day, and if your mom or dad is one of them, they're at risk.

While getting someone to put down the phone on their way to work or shopping is difficult, because you can't always be with them, what you say does matter. Tell your mother or father you're worried, and ask that they change for your sake. As an added measure of protection:

  •  Download an app on their phone that blocks incoming texts while they're driving.
  • Clean the car of all gadgets/distractions and suggest purses and phones be kept in the back seat. 

Dangerous driving doesn't just harm other people, it can happen to your family as well. Make the effort to improve your parent's behavior behind the wheel now. Even if they protest, you can take comfort in the fact that you did the right thing.