What should I know before initiating the conversation?
- Know the warning signs of potential driving problems. Is your relative easily distracted while driving?
- Has parking become erratic?
- Is the driverless confident, or do they fail to notice traffic activity to the right or left?
- Are there signs of scraping on the car, fence, or mailbox?
These are just a few of the signs. Try to observe the driver overtime to see if troublesome patterns emerge.
What about conversation starters? Are there especially appropriate times to break the ice?
While it’s best not to wait for a severe accident, 50 percent of older drivers surveyed reported being more open to discussing driving safety after a bad accident. Minor scrapes and near-misses are also opportunities to broach the subject. You could also express concern over a new medicine your parent may be taking and how that might affect driving. You may have even noticed that the driver has taken steps on their own, such as stopping night driving, for instance. Use this: “Dad, I’m glad you’ve decided to cut back on night driving.”