Advanced Driving Directives are to seniors as Parent-Teen Driving Contracts are to youth. Both are aimed at keeping the driver out of trouble through an agreement to abide by a set of guidelines designed to keep everyone safe.
Retiring From Driving
If we are lucky enough to live to old age and not suffer impairing health issues before then we will all be faced with the decision to stop driving because we are no longer capable of driving safely. RoadSafetyBC says that in general, we are living about 10 years past our ability to do that.
Planning ahead of time to retire from driving will make the transition easier and it will give you some control over the process.
A survey of older adults suggests that about one third of the group was comfortable with having a family member decide for them when to surrender their driver's licence.
About 44% were open to having the decision made by their doctor.
Nearly two thirds were willing to discuss the issue and an advanced driving directive or driver planning agreement can help provide a framework for that discussion.
Advanced Driving Directives
I know through personal experience that initiating a conversation on driving ability can be a very awkward one. Who is brave enough to step forward and raise the issue with mom, dad or a good friend?
Worse still, who gets to tell them that they should stop driving all together?
The directive allows the driver to designate the person they trust to do this with them.
The aim of the directive is to support the driver in their quest to continue driving or stay mobile to maintain a degree of independence.
When this is no longer possible, the person designated is expected to address the issue with the driver.
Giving up something that you have enjoyed for most of your life can be very stressful, especially if you do not plan for it.
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Last year I had my first ever moving violation. This bothered me not because I was unaware of what caused it. And the thought of losing points bothered me. In the end I didn't.
Driving in Victoria is no longer fun. Bike paths have taken over a lot road lanes resulting in traffic jams.
Since September I have driven about 2500 kilometres and none for pleasure.
I live in an area where I have access to two bus lines into town, about a 12 minute ride.
I also have a vintage vehicle which I have driven about 200 miles in the last year. No fun at all. I enjoy tinkering on it most of all.
If I have to give up my license I will do so without problem, at least I think that way. I hope I don't have to but I won't sweat it.
I'm 83 and had noticed a year or so ago that when I came up to a stop sign or traffic light I was slowing down earlier.
It made me realize that my reactions were not as fast as they used to be, so I have voluntarily given up driving for the last year, although I still have my license in case of emergency.
So if you find yourself slowing down sooner before you have to stop, think that now is the time to quit!
I had over 50 years of accident-free driving and one speeding ticket!