Getting your parents to give up their drivers license

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My Mother is a terror on the road. She has lapses of judgement, gets lost, and is a nervous wreck when driving. We had the "talk" with her about not driving anymore, it was not safe ect. ect. She agreed with us and then promptly forgot and continued to drive. Our next move was to report her to the DMV so they would give her a driving test - she is 89 - and we knew that she would not go thru with a test. Unfortunately the DMV has still not gotten back to us and it has been over a month. I am getting furious with her since I live in her home and am always ready to take her wherever she needs to go. What do we do with our elders who refuse to give up a lethal weapon that they are no longer qualified to operate??? The DMV needs to start testing people regularly over 70 and pulling their licenses. Now the family members are just left to be the "bad guys" who took away our parents freedom.

5 Comments

Can you talk with her doctor about it. Try to get him/her to report her because when they do it, it is instant. If we report them, DMV will do an investigation and as you are experiencing can take a long time. You could try taking her keys away, disabling her car and moving the car some place where she can't see it so hopefully out of sight out of mind will work. If she drives as bad as you say, try following in your car and call the police. Tell them she is driving unsafely and they should respond. A friend of my mother's lost her license because she was unable to control the car (swerving back a forth). She was driving to a mechanics shop for a smog test and they saw how she was driving and reported her. The cops came out immediately and impounded her car and reported her to DMV. I hope this helps to give you some ideas on how to proceed. Take care!!
hadenough you need to do something now. If something happens you and she will feel horrible. You need to make this happen yesterday. I know you're worried but wouldn't she forget that you were involved if her memory is so bad?
hadenough, tough action is overdue. You've been waiting around over a month for the DMV to act? You need to get your mother off the road NOW. Before she runs into a mom pushing a stroller across the street. Hide the keys. Disable the vehicle. Remove it from the premises -- do whatever it takes. This will not be easy, but it will be easier than planning a funeral if she accelerates when she means to brake.

I have kind of a similar problem. My father is 84, but his problems are not aged related. He has always been mentally ill, forgetful, "in his own world", accident prone and with the judgment of a 6 year old. He has some kind of mental illness that was never diagnosed. Maybe a form of attention deficit disorder or schizophrenia. I just know that he is not like any other person I have ever met. If he is walking and there is a pothole he will fall into it. A curb, he trips on it. A sheet of ice, he finds it. He NEVER side steps the obstacle because he is in his own world and always has been. He has had countless accidents. One time he was on his bicycle, and he was not paying attention. He did not see a car and was hit head on and flew, head first over the car, hit his head on the pavement. Luckily he just suffered a concussion. He comes across as weak, meek, passive, and when he blows a stop sign he says, "I didn't see it.". He has said that hundreds of times. He is screwed up because of what his mother did to him, and basically he married a woman a lot like his mother. Cold, critical, angry, no empathy...that's my mom. And unfortunately as I have gotten older and more aware of all of these problems, I have become like that too. Long story short..... my father blew a stop sign for the umpteenth time last week. I have gotten tired of all the accidents on and off the road and contacted the DMV. They told me there is a form that you can fill out that essentially says that you feel someone is not fit to be driving. I filled out this form and my father was forced to come down to the DMV and take a road test. He failed badly. He blew a stop sign, drove 45mph in a residential area, and took a wide turn. He is very impaired psychologically, emotionally, cognitively. They suspended his license on the spot for 30 days. He has to now go to driving school and take another road test. He may never get his license back. He is of course very angry at me. I just got tired of all of problems he creates when he is behind the wheel or just walking. I feel that mentally ill people who don't see very well should not be driving.He has been accident prone since he was a young man. Falling down, losing things, he comes across as spacey/ half out of it ...whatever. I like people who are aware of what is going on and functional. He never has been. His mother was very cruel to him and he was an only child. His parent's marriage was bad, and his mother felt he was the reason they had to stick together. So I don't think he was abused physically, but he was abused emotionally by his mother. He "adjusted" by withdrawing from his reality. This was bad because I have no other male role model in my family. Just a younger sister. So my role model was a weak, passive guy who is half out of it. This is not good because women like take charge dominant men. I always act passive with them, as that was the dynamic between my mother and father. I am 51 never married, no children, never had a long term relationship. But at least I have "been with" a number of different woman, mainly because of my good looks. If I didn't have that I probably would be a 51 year old virgin, because I don't have this dynamic personality that gets women excited. I hope my father doesn't get his license back. It will save a lot of money with tickets, accident, and all the problems he creates when he gets behind the wheel. I just got tired of all the problems he has created over the years, and wanted to give him a wake up call. I wanted to shock him out of his little world. Yes.. it is cold blooded. I had to do something drastic. As this has been going on for years.... and I just can't take it anymore. By the way.... he is still driving with a suspended license. I have threatened to call the police on him. This is going to end one way or the other. Either he is going to be in jail for unlicensed operation or I am going to be in jail for beating the crap out of him.
Thank you for the responses to my question on my Mothers driving. Just to let everyone know the DMV finally contacted her after over a month. My brother and sister had sent in the form (you can download it from the DMV site) and she now has to have a doctor fill out some paperwork and take a driving test. I felt a little sad for her but the relief is immense that she will not hurt herself or someone else with that car. Just more fun to be had with being the caretaker of your elderly parent - hahaha. So grateful for this website.

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