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How to Know When It’s Time for Mom or Dad to Stop Driving

Adult children with aging parents often face a difficult decision in determining when it’s appropriate to take away the keys from mom or dad. While no one wants to be faced with the situation of having to discuss this difficult situation, you can’t ignore the reality and allow a parent to continue driving when he or she is no longer capable of doing so safely. Here are several tips you can use to help determine when finally time to take away the keys.

Medical Conditions

Almost all seniors have at least some kind of medical condition or ailment that might impact their ability to drive. Obvious problems, such as loss of visual acuity or loss of motor control, are easy to observe, though unrelated conditions can also impact a parent’s ability to drive. It’s important you’re familiar with any medical conditions your parent has and ask a physician how those might affect driving ability.


In addition to medical conditions, treatments and medication can also impact driving ability. Even if medical condition is not one that would impact driving skills, medications can often diminish a person’s ability to concentrate, observe, or perform driving tasks that require hand-eye coordination and quick reaction time.

Mental Condition

Everyone faces cognitive decline as they age, but it can often occur subtly. It’s a good idea to periodically accompany parents while they drive to observe their driving skills. If reaction times are delayed or if they aren’t able to navigate, these can be good signs of decreased cognitive capacity requiring cessation of self-driving.

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