Driving: Moral dilemma.

Follow
Share

My FIL should not drive anymore. Unfortunately, he's passed special examinations from the DMV - twice - and the last test was about a month ago. So he's sure he's a fine driver. Frankly, he has the legal backup to "prove" it. My MIL says if the DMV says he's OK, he's OK (but she's nervous). They have to make a long trip to a military base each month to pick up meds and do inexpensive shopping. These trips wear them out, so now I must go with them. Since it's on base, I can't simply run these errands for them. (My husband's slightly disabled, and there's no one else within hundreds of miles.) My FIL, of course, insists on driving - and on taking their car - and MIL backs him up. This is really getting scary, but I see no way out, and I resent being in this precarious position. Guess this is just a vent.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
103

Comments

Show:
1 2 3 4 5
You certainly do not have any obligation to get in a car with a driver that YOU consider unsafe, no matter what any DMV person says. Is your MIL aware of the possible financial catastrophe if FIL causes an accident? Some people think that because they have insurance they don't have to worry about this, but insurance coverage has limits and it really is not so hard to exceed them with the cost of medical care compensation these days.
(0)
Report

The other option is to inquire about having an Occupational Therapist do a driving skills/safety assessment. They look for their ability to react in an appropriate time frame to traffic, etc. There may be a fee but definitely worth the effort and cost. As for going on social media to "expose" someone's bad driving, well, there really has to be a more civil way to address the issue. That seems to be the approach for being rude without accepting responsibility these days. Let's all try to remember what our grandparents hopefully would have taught us about good manners and kindness.
(1)
Report

Godsanointed what would you do if you were in this exact situation. I understand your concern, but the RMV deemed FIL fit to drive. Tampering with a motor vehicle is a felony and using social media can be considered harassment and cyber bullying which is also a crime, FIL could even be granted a restraining order. This is a dilemma that is becoming a big problem as the baby boomers are getting older. Confounded is limited on what she can do, driving them around and continue to encourage FIL not to drive.
(1)
Report

The trouble with convincing people who are not thinking clearly is that they are not thinking clearly. And Confounded's situation is made much more complicated by FIL's "safe" - HA! - driving having been endorsed, twice, by the authorities. It is the authorities themselves who have convinced him that he can safely drive, provided he takes a few simple precautions.

Confounded, I feel for you. But by this point I would be looking on my FIL qua driver, rather than qua FIL, and my attitude would be severe.

Aside - the lane changing business particularly got to me. My FIL swerved without looking or signalling across two lanes of the Marylebone Road, very nearly took out a motorbike, and THEN said "bloody motorbikes!" He was the WORST driver I have ever seen in action. But this was back when he was younger and comparatively able bodied; the truth of it was that he was just a terrible driver. There's a lot of it about, and taking their licences off them is truly not that simple. If only the various governments would make it much harder to pass your test in the first place, insist on re-licensing every ten years, ban proven offenders permanently...

Well, actually, what would happen is that there'd be a lot more totally illegal drivers with no insurance on the roads. In the short term, anyway.

Confounded, I hope this mental exercise might help - when thinking and talking about this, strongly visualise your FIL as a cab driver who has turned up to be your chauffeur, rather than a much loved person whom you like and respect. It may help you find the words to say "you are a menace. Get out from behind the wheel NOW" - and show him you mean it. It's a question of being prepared for him not to like you.

And stop being nice to MIL when she backs him up. She's making excuses, and it won't do.
(2)
Report

All of that said ... I am painfully aware of my responsibility in this matter, and I am working on it, in ways that are legal and respectful (if firm) of all parties involved.

If I am successful, I will post a new thread.

Thank you all for our comments.
(1)
Report

The car also belongs to my MIL, a competent, licensed driver who, thus far, will NOT go along with any sabotage or removal schemes.

Under the circumstances, if I were to go ahead and do it anyway, I'd be committing a crime. The car would only be returned to service. I might even end up incarcerated, which doesn't help anybody.

Blasting our IDs on social media or local news will not help the situation at all. We do not have police records, so it would be an act of harassment. I would also lose the trust I'm building with my MIL.
(0)
Report

Inability to immediately stop his dangerous driving means he can actually hurt or kill himself or someone else the next time he picks up the keys and gets behind the wheel! I think someone needs to find and hide the keys or at least remove the ignition key from the ring before someone gets killed! All it takes is just one time, and that very next time he gets behind the wheel, someone may be planning a funeral, don't put someone else's life in jeopardy. Yes, something needs done right now.
I for one strongly agree with starting with a local newspaper article. If your clever with words, You can incorporate the car's description into the article and kind of hint by describing the person behind the wheel of that car. If you're clever enough, you can find a way to incorporate the license plate number, and it'll take a smart person to read between the lines to figure it out.

For instance, regular Ohio license plates have six digits. Let's say you take that license plate number and turn it into a sentence for your article.

* You start by first writing down the license plate number and the car's description. Now, try to come up with a sentence relevant to what your article is about. You can be very clever about turning the license plate number into a sentence, but try to keep the number in order as it appears on the license plate so others know who to watch out for once they figure out what you're saying and it's details. If the dangerous driver is going to continue driving, that means you must level the playing field and play dirty! If you're clever enough to know how to be creative with words, you can get away with directly exposing the person.

If your article is rejected:

Remember, you always have social media, you can always plug up the public timeline and expose the person directly without all the clever creativeness. You can come right out and say it straight up on public social media, even exposing the person's name, car description and license plate number without getting creative as I described before.
(1)
Report

Another thought is to contact your local paper. Sometimes they do "human interest" stories on situations like this, and people might want to know that they a sharing the public highways with someone who may not be competent to get behind the wheel. More than once I have seen the results of shining a light via a news article on some injustice or otherwise intractable situation.
(1)
Report

Well, pros can be clueless. Not always, but the potential is there.

When I posted the OP, I actually felt I was morally obligated to get in the car with him, no matter what, but that prospect scared the **** out of me. Now, thanks to the group, I've made it clear that this is NOT gonna happen.

Stopping his driving altogether, however, will not happen instantly, but not because of lack of effort on my part. As of now, I have no legal standing to make it happen (and my incarceration would not improve matters) ... but I am working on it.
(0)
Report

Thanks noor75! I think if the doctor were to ride with this dangerous driver, the doctor would see fit to permanently pull this person off the road once and for all!

I firmly stand in my views and I won't budge. When I was talking about not covering people who caused wrecks, When I was speaking of passengers, I wasn't speaking of those who didn't know the driver was dangerous but those who DO know the driver is dangerous and still knowingly get in the car with that driver anyway
(1)
Report

1 2 3 4 5
This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Related
Questions