How do I limit Dad's driving?


Dad moved in last year after mom died. He has been driving since he was 16. Now he is almost 80 and I am very concerned about his driving. He has never been attentive to begin with anyway. The most recent issue is he drove to visit family 8 hours away. He did not eat well nor take his meds (I assume). He arrived home dehydrated and sick, (how he even drove is beyond me, he could barely walk into the house). After a week he finally admitted he hit another car in a parking lot on his trip home. He at least got the info and the insurance companies are handling it. So now he is planning another trip next month to the same area. He cant drive 20 minutes across town without having to take a nap in the car when he gets back into the driveway then a longer nap like he is doing right now.
I cant tell my sibling as she wont believe me and he will tell her different. I cant take him there and for him to take a plane or train or bus is not in the cards.
My worry is what I expected, on the last trip that he will have an accident, Next time may be worse. If he goes it will be what I experienced last week, trips to the ER, the Dr. and my nursing him back to health (took a week).
I have toyed with disabling the car. He is having some minor issue that I can play up on. I get it, he is bored here and when he visits he is treated like the proverbial son coming home all while being feted. Here he is living like the rest of us (which in my house is a pretty good life). So how do I not be the "bad guy" in all of this? It is not about "if he has an accident it is when". I can't discuss it with the sibling as we are akin to divorced parents. She is the "Disney Parent" and I am the regular you live with me parent and have to "instill the rules".

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Thanks for the insight. I have contemplated disabling the car.... he said at dinner he is light headed. I told him to get a check up and if it continues I will not allow him to drive. That changed his tune real quick. The only issue is the event is 4 weeks away and I am not sure how to stop him besides being the bad guy. His car is fine (although it is having a slight issues that may crop up later). Personally I would love for him to go and give me a break but I will have t see how his driving is in a week or so...... Once he stops driving then he will be that much more dependent on me.... Not a place I want to be.
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My dad also was never a very good driver, mom was and did most of the driving for both of them (she was also a horrible nag if anyone else was driving). He got by in his little town, but I warned him when he wanted to move here that it was going to be a problem--the end of our road is a state highway and cars fly over the hill at 65+.

Luckily for me he tried turning left on the highway once, had a close enough call to get badly frightened without any actual damage, and hasn't tried it again. He tootles up and down the road occasionally, mostly to get to the shaded part when he feels like taking a walk. Not much traffic on our unpaved dead-end road, so I'm okay with that. Sooner or later he'll get stuck in the sand, have to call me for a tow out, and I hope that will be the end of it.
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Being direct and totally honest with our elderly parent usually ends up in a big fight and teenager-like defiance on their part.

Yes, you may need to be somewhat devious about this to get anywhere, and that is just the way it is. One of you has to be the grown up over this.
Your approach and success may also depend on what day it is, the weather, the moon phase, the humidity, and price of tea in China. We just pick a way and do our best.

If there's a doctor appointment coming up, call ahead to make your worries known and talk to the nurse about options. Maybe the doctor can do a little vision check, and find that he no longer has the vision to drive. The doctor I took my mom to, didn't tell her that outright. He handed me a form he had filled out for the DMV to change her driving license to a non-driving state ID.

He said "Take this to the DMV for a better handicap parking permit". Wink wink, nudge nudge. I read the form and saw he had checked the box that said applicant can no longer drive. We went to the DMV, and I guess they see a lot of this. They processed her for a new state ID, without driving privileges and a handicap parking sign without being obvious about it.

When we got done I looked at her license and said that "look, you don't have to drive anymore. This is the one that goes with your handicap plates. It says no driving." The deed was done and there was no going back.

We donated the car ASAP.

If dad insists on driving anyway - without a license - then call the police department and report him. He might need the experience of being pulled over by a real cop to scare him into compliance.
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Fuses, fuses, fuses! Or distributor wires. Pick your poison and alert the mechanic that you usually use and have them play along. How can a man that needs a nap after a trip across town safely drive on a long trip. Save lives, shut him down.
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tgengine, I believe that all your Dad needs to do is not get so dehydrated and to take his meds. He probably didn't drink water/sodas thinking that's less stops to use the restrooms.

Let him drive for as long as he can do it safely in his own hometown if the town's pace is slow, no more long trips... people of all ages hit cars in the parking lot, either due to be inattentive or cannot see well out of the car mirrors or out the back of the car because of how it is designed. Would it be possible for you to drive him to see relatives or meet half way for them to pick him up?

What kind of vehicle does your Dad drive now? My parents have a big old Oldsmobile which I dislike driving because I can't see out of the side view mirrors because of where they are located on the car, and the button to move the mirrors that are within the case mounting doesn't help. The car was built for someone 6 foot tall, not 5 foot me. Maybe a different type of vehicle might help. Easy to see out of the back of a small pickup truck :)
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To me, it's not important who the bad guy appears to be. I would immediately render the care so that he can not drive it. And I would alert his doctor or DMV so they can require a review. With the information you provide, they will likely take the license. You can explain to him that's it's not safe for him to drive anymore, but if he is not able to understand it and is upset, then that's just the way it has to be. Safety for him and the public has to take a front seat. I would be firm about this. It's not something to fool around with.
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