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To make a long sotry short, mother/MIL was in an auto accident a few months back which was ruled not her fault as a car went thru a red light and hit into her totaling her car. She was bruised & banged up with a broken wrist but other than that ok. So fast forward to Friday she says to us that she wants us to take her looking for another car. We understand that the accident was not her fault but really at this age why would she want to continue driving. She sort of got mad/offended because we said oh well will talk about it later and she said no I want to go for another car and within the next few weeks. I am not even sure the her insurance company will insure her anymore because of her age and this accident even though it was not her fault but how do you tell someone who is so set in their ways and stubborn. Thanks for any input!!!

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I agree with vstefans in the above post... Maine127, let your mother-in-law get a new car and keep driving if she is capable of driving. Think about it, people of ALL ages have car accidents where someone else is at fault. At 18 or 30 or 55 we don't stop driving.

How I wish my parents could have kept on driving as I have been driving them for the past 5 years to doctor appointments, grocery stores, shopping, hair appointment, hardware stores, to the CPA, you name it, and I am so burnt out doing this, that I am at a point where I am really hating to drive. Don't get caught in this loop, it will drain you of all your free time.

So please allow your mother-in-law to keep being independent by letting her get a new car. Wish my parents would get something newer, the cruise ship they call a car is a nightmare to drive. I get seasick just backing the darn thing out of the garage.
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Wait a minute everybody. She's 85 but the wreck was not legallly or in any realistic way her fault. If she was a good driver before the wreck and did not sustain a brain injury, she will be just as good now. If she wants a new car, the insurance check for her totaled one should at least make a good down payment. She should not give up driving just because of age, and actually testing would not necessairly be indicated unless you drive really do have reason to think she has some impairment.
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I had to take my folks to the MVA today to get ID cards (not drivers lic.) and I wondered how that was gonna go with Dad. He kept asking what we were there for.. lucky for me he didn;t connect it with driving! But I had to sign his name, and mine above it as POA.. bet someone is gonna wonder about that! Now I just hope when it comes he doesn't think it's a new driving lic!
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If her MD said she was OK to drive, and she can pass a road test, you really can't stop her. Send her for a driver evaluation, you can do that by submitting a form to the DMV. They will schedule a road test and you take her in your car. An unfamiliar car will probably result in a failure, lucky you.
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We had to take my Dads keys away. His Dr said he could not drive, but never reported it. Mom is 83, and now that they live with me, she said she does not want to renew hers. But we kept thier sweet car to drive them around in, makes them happy. Dad sometimes gets on a jag where he wants the keys.. we tell him they are misplaced. My 90 year old FIL still drives, and drinks.. lovely. MIL has undiagnosed dementia and had her license pulled a few years ago after several accidents. Maybe someone turned her in, or her insurance company? when she went to renew (cause none of the accidents were her fault...LOL) they said they noticed she was "shakey" and wanted a letter from her Dr... FIL is pretty bad health wise but mentally OK, but poor judgement, someone follows them home after he has a "few" and heads for home, we can't stop him and hubbs is in some denial here. BIL gets it, but I think he dosent want to deal with the fall out. We already have my folks.. not taking any more! So take the blame, it beats the guilt.
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Thanks again but somehow I have the feeling that we will b to blame no matter what the outcome. She was bugging again yesterday because the weather was nice that she wants to get back out and about........unfortunately everyone that could take her out during the day works so she has to wait and that does just not suit her :(:(
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After a head injury my husband had a very thorough driving test at a rehab center. Their goal is enable everyone to be as independent as they safely can, so my husband did not feel there would be a bias against him. He did pass that test. They did also have some suggestions for him, such as avoiding rush hour. Ten years later he developed dementia and his license was automatically revoked. He begged his doctor to let him drive if he "passed the test." She said, "Yes, if you can pass the test at Courage Center, I will write to the dmv on your behalf." That was a pretty safe promise. He never took the test, knowing himself that he would not pass it.

So ... I suggest it put the decision in the hands of a testing facility. If there is a rehab organization in your area that does this (often to determine if modifications to the car are needed), use that. If not, maybe the DMV. But if she passes the test and the insurance will keep her, and she shows no cognitive problems, then let her drive. If she doesn't pass or her insurance won't continue, then it is out of your hands and you are not the one to blame.
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BTW a few years ago here an elderly driver hit a woman out running with her dog. The dog was killed instantly and the woman was dragged screaming, trapped under the car, all the way back to the old lady's driveway. She had no idea she'd hit someone.
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Here in Ontario, Canada an annual test is mandatory after age 80. I took my mother a few times. It's just a test of eyesight and knowledge of the rules of the road. There's no road test and many of the people there could barely stand up yet they passed - I wouldn't get in a car with them either!

My mother (before I moved to care for her) had been a dodgy driver for years, missing a line of parked cars by a hair's breadth and backing out over the lawn - all unbeknown to me 200 miles away. Once I lived with her she went everywhere with me in my van. One day she drove her car and I was a passenger. She blew through a red light and turned into our street on the wrong side of the road. I think it scared her as she gave up and the car was sold.
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Thanks all. I am curious too if her current insurance would even continue to insure her because of her age & accident? They may or may not, of course if they did not it would be an easy way out since she would not want to shop for auto insurance and I can only imagine what it would cost for someone new at that age.
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My father was insured up to 93. He stopped driving at 89 but would consistently bring it up. I told mom the only thing worst than him driving was him driving uninsured.
In Florida you can report an incompetent driver to the DMV, you can have the doctor do so, but it does not have to be a doctor. The have a process they follow, maybe they call you in for a test. I am not sure, I do know they do not just take away your privilege to drive,

Remember the AARP is a strong lobby in this state, laws to curtail elderly drivers have failed.

I succeeded in getting dad to not drive by becoming his Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon driver. I took him fun places so he did not feel trapped. That is not something everybody can do.

Every case is different, not all elderly drivers are a menace. Good luck,
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I agree with Angelkw above answer; however, your mother will most likely resist having this test done at the DMV. There was some talk years past that this test would become mandatory after a certain age; but not as of yet. I do agree with you at the age of 85 it might seem like a good age to stop driving.

Giving up ones independence as far as the driving is concerned is one of the most difficult things to do. Both of my parents had been forced to due to health problems, etc. And with my MIL, we had to get her primary care physician involved to stop her from driving as she had memory problems and was a danger to herself and others. This was no easy task and there was hell to pay for doing it; but it was the right thing to do.

I know many still driving well into their upper eighties in good health - this is a tough one and a very sensitive topic with the elderly. However, serious accidents are on the rise as well with the elderly and you might tell her of these as to stop driving would be a preventive measure and a very brave one for her.
Wishing you luck with this and a good outcome.
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I would request that she have a test at the DMV and let them decide if she is OK to drive. They will test her eyesight, and do a driving test to see if she has the reflexes to continue driving. If she passes that and has no other cognitive issues I would feel safe allowing her to drive.

Angel #2
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