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He is 90. He is recovering from a broken spine. He once had a stroke while driving and drove across a sidewalk and almost went through a plate glass window. At his best, he was swerving into other lanes, and sometimes going up on the curb. When we mention it, he flies into a rage.

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First, I just want to say, I feel your pain. Dad was driving longer than he should have and the doctors and DMV (in SC) were not much help. It was nerve wracking. What changed in my case is that when we moved Dad to live closer, he was just confused enough by the new surroundings that he stopped driving. It does not sound as though your Dad is confused.

One thing that did help Dad swallow the bitter pill not driving was that 1) we let him keep his lic. so technically he still can drive. 2) we take him for a drive as often as possible in his car that he loves. Especially taking him for a drive makes him happy.

Is it possible to find a geriatrician who might help? I think that this is a specialty area that understands the changes in response time as well as the importance of the words, "the doctor said..." In the meantime, it is worth getting the letter sent to the DMV. At least then process is started. Also, consider talking to the Orthopedist's nurse. Sometimes the doctor responds better to a discussion "off-line" where the patient is not in the room. The same is true for the car dealership. Dad's mechanic would take his time fixing the car once we had talked about the danger of Dad's driving.
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I just posted this evening on this topic. One old woman drove away this week and was eventually found dead. Another senior man is missing and has been gone 48 hours. There is more at risk here, than just other people. Visit the police station and see what needs to be done.
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Please be sympathetic to the fact that he needs someone to drive him where he wants to go.. I certainly agree he should not be driving, but be available to drive him around.
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Part of your problem is that the car is a Lexus. Whatever you do to it the dealer will have it fixed that day.
You could talk to the dealership and seek their help with your concerns.
If he can afford a Lexus can he afford a cab when he needs to go out or something more upscale with a chauffer? Talk to the police they may have suggestions also as suggested his insurance company. my husband as a student owned an old wreck and his parents lived in an upscale neighborhood so wanted it gone. Surprise one night it was stolen! FIL never admitted any involvement
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This question has come up many times before and all the suggestions are worth pursuing. In our case, my MIL's pcp told her that if he found out she were driving he would report her to the Pennsylvania DMV and contact the local police. My husband told her that since he was POA, he could be sued up the wazoo for her actions if she had an accident, and her actions would financially endanger him, me, and her grandchildren, and where would that leave her? Older people have a great respect for authority, and these scare tactics worked. When she agreed we were right, my husband promptly sold her car.

But on another point, eliezering, you state your dad swerves, drives up on the curb, and almost went through a plate glass window? He flies into a rage and is irrational? Deal with the rage and his irrationality, and be the rational adult here and do whatever it takes to get him off the road! The way I see it, and this may sound harsh, is that should he injure or kill anyone, it is you who would be just as responsible because of your inaction.
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I feel for ya, eliezering! What a frustrating experience.

Doctors may be mandated to notify DMVs for some diagnoses, but probably not for a condition they consider temporary. If the orthopedist thinks Dad may be able to drive again in a couple of weeks he is only looking at the effects of the injury he is treating -- not Dad's skills and competencies.

So, write to the DMV yourself. List specific examples of how it is not safe to drive. If it takes a while, at least get the clock ticking as soon as possible. I like pstiegman's idea of copying the insurance company. I'm not sure how they might respond, but it couldn't hurt.

My husband's geriatrician, a very kind woman, said "I'm sorry but I am required to report your dementia to the state, and they will cancel your driving license." (I don't know whether it was MN state law or the doctor's conscience that "required" her to do this, but I'm very glad she did.) Within a couple of weeks we got the letter revoking his license. To my husband, this was the absolutely worst thing about having dementia. He mourned his beloved special edition Miata for at least a year. He was depressed about not being able to drive. But he had enough cognition to realize that the risks weren't just his own. At one visit he asked the doctor if she would let him drive if he passed the test. She said yes, if he passed the test she would write to the DMV. Of course that never happened. He clearly could not drive.

Your situation is different, eliezering, because Dad doesn't have a diagnosis that would automatically disqualify him from driving. Sigh. This is soooo hard for you. Thank you for fighting this battle and trying to protect others on the highways. It is a pretty thankless task as far as relationship with your father goes, but know that others support you and appreciate your efforts.
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You have a lot of good suggestions here.
I strongly believe in picking your battles. This battle is worth having.

My 89 yo dad gave up driving as the result of an amputation to his driving foot and being wheelchair bound. For 3 years he talked about driving again. I made a point of making sure he had a life and was not stuck in the house all week. Fridays I stayed at his house. Saturday mornings I took them to breakfast and errands (including mine), Saturday evenings were mine. Sunday afternoon lunch and casino trip. Occasionally, I threw in a weekend getaway. When he would ask about getting a car, I would say, well I guess you don't want to spend so much time with me.....emotional blackmail ? Perhaps, but it worked. I avoided driving past car dealerships because he would quote the car ads and ask me to take him to buy a new car, I would change the subject and ask him what he wanted to do for fun the following weekend. Not everyone is in a position where they can or want to give up a weekend and host their parents. I made it work and used it to provide mom a bit of respite and entertainment as well. This was my way of helping while mom bore the brunt of the day to day caregiving.....the really hard stuff.

Dad passed last year, mom no longer wants to drive at 81. She really could physically, but is not feeling confident. This will make her a little more dependent, but we will figure that out. Today, we sold her car.
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I would disable his car. Call it criminal if you want to but I could not live with myself if he hurt or killed someone, especially a child.If you saw someone that was drowning but there was a sign that said it was illegal to go swimming, would you obey the law and let the person drown,or break the law and save the person?I am not telling anyone to do anything criminal, only speaking for myself and what I could not live with.
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Sign the darn letter and have it notarized. Send it to the DMV with a copy to his insurance company. In NJ and PA, doctors are MANDATED to file a report. So call the MD and remind him to send you a copy of his report. If the MD said not to drive and you get behind the wheel, you are charged with driving with a suspended license. In NY, if you have a stroke, your license is suspended until the MD clears you. If he drives, call the cops, turn him in and save a life.
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I appreciate all the responses but some of it is not true: for example, it is NOT possible in NJ to "write an anonymous letter" to DMV. It has to be signed. Taking the keys would be useless, as he would have new ones made by LEXUS the very same day, which is a service the dealership provides to their customers all the time when they lose their keys. His orthopedist was unwilling to help us beyond saying "he shouldn't drive until I take another xray in 2 weeks to see if his fractured spine has healed, but if it has healed, from my perspective, driving is his business." My Dad does NOT respond to anything rational, like the possibility of endangering others, or reminding him of the two incidents when he drove on the sidewalk, and that there could have been children there, or anyone for that matter. He is the most willful, stubborn, obstinate and irrational person about this issue, and will not listen to reason. Even if I CAN succeed in getting a different doctor to help us, in NJ the process could take months: first the doctor sends the DMV a note of concern; then the DMV sends my father a letter; then he has 45 days to respond to the letter, etc etc. There is nothing in NJ law that can help us TODAY, or TOMORROW, when he gets in the car again. I am so angry, I feel like writing the orthopedist and asking him if he has any children, and not to come crying to me when Dad mows them down. Argh!
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Had this very emotional issue with my grandmother. My father just removed a part, don't remember what it was, that would prevent the car from even starting.So , we just kept telling her we would get it fixed,of course we never did.Felt bad for her but she did not have the right to endanger other people.
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Driver safety can often be a sensitive issue for older drivers. Although talking about it with your dad can be difficult, keeoing in mind the following while talking to him can help :
1. Be respectful: For many seniors, driving is an integral part of independence. Many older adults have fond memories of getting a driver’s license. At the same time, don’t be intimidated or back down if you have a true concern.
2. Give specific examples: It’s easier to tune out generalizations like “You just can’t drive safely anymore.” Instead, outline concerns that you have noticed, such as “You braked suddenly at stop signs three times the last time we drove.”
3. Find strength in numbers: If more than one family member or close friend has noticed, it is less likely to be taken as nagging. A loved one may also listen to a more impartial party, such as a doctor or driving specialist.
4. Help find alternatives: The person may be so used to driving that they have never considered alternatives. You can offer concrete help, such as researching transportation options or offering rides when possible. If your family member is reluctant to ask for help, it can lead to isolation and depression.
5. Understand the difficulty of the transition: Your loved one may experience a profound sense of loss having given up driving. Don’t dismiss their feelings but try to help with the transition as much as possible. If it is safe, try slowly transitioning the senior out of driving to give them time to adjust. For example, your loved one may begin the transition by no longer driving at night or on the freeways. You could also try the shuttle service to specific appointments, such as the doctor’s.

If he still refuses to give up the keys -
Sometimes an older driver has to be stopped from driving over their objections. It might feel very difficult for you to make this call, especially if the senior is a parent or other close figure used to having their independence. However, their safety and the safety of others must come first. An unsafe driver can seriously injure or kill themselves or others.
If appropriate evaluations and recommendations have been made, and no amount of rational discussion has convinced the driver to hand over the car keys, then you may make an anonymous report to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (in the U.S. or Canada) or talk to the person’s physician about your concerns. In some cases, there is a need to take further actions such as taking away the car keys, selling or disabling the car, and enlisting the local police to explain the importance of safe driving and the legal implications of unsafe driving.
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I had this issue with my Bernie and his Dr addressed it and wrote a letter to the state Motor Vehicle Division. He was not embarrassed because he was simply contacted and told he had to go in and take some driving exams which he failed miserably. Now, he isn't driving anymore TG! But...he will not sell the cars and he continues to insist the full insurance is paid each month which is ridiculous because he will never drive again and we always use my car. But I will deal with this later. I hope this answer was of some use to you and I wish you good luck.
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Jeanne is completely right. I just wish it made this recurring nightmare of a problem easy!

It's bad enough with an elderly mother: I got lucky this year because her insurance renewal came at exactly the right time for me to warn her that if she didn't disclose her recent medical conditions she'd void her policy, and if she did she would be refused insurance: better to "suspend" the policy "until she got better" than to risk never being able to get insurance again… God, I felt such a weasel. But at least it saved face.

I'm not sure if this would work for you, because I don't know if the motor insurance laws in the US are the same as they are here in the UK, where it's illegal to drive on a public road without at least 3rd party cover and we're so closely supervised by CCTV and automatic number plate recognition that you'd never get away with it for long. On the other hand, if your Dad is driving as he is and he's not even insured..??!!! All the more reason to hide the keys. Or hire a bulldozer and crush the car, come to that.

The trouble is - sorry, I seem to be doing an awful lot of stereotyping but it's based on observation - that when you criticise a man's driving you criticise his very being. Add that to the loss of independence and you're asking your father to swallow a very bitter pill indeed.

But Jeanne is still right. Whatever it takes. Do the dirty deed and then hide until his wrath is spent. Good luck!
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Ask his doctor to support you on this.

Write to the DMV, reporting that he is a risk behind the wheel.

Hide his car keys.

Do whatever you have to do, but get him off the streets! Enduring his rages is insignificant compared to enduring the guilt you would feel if he kills himself and takes an innocent pedestrian with him.
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