Follow
Share

My 94 year old mother still drives... SHORT distances and always in the daytime and along known routes. However, she just told me about having to pay a huge car insurance payment... and that's because she hit a mail box and later a garbage can, in the past two years... and notified her insurance about repairs, etc. So, of course, they JACKED up the cost of her insurance. But that's not my question... it's... have any of you had a senior who drives get into a more serious or problematic accident involving another car and driver... and what happens? What are the possible ramifications legally, financially, etc. etc. (P.S. I fear that the ONLY way my mother will give up driving her car is WHEN she has a more serious accident... and oh... oh.. what if someone else is hurt? I can handle her getting hurt, as in I know only a crisis will EVER get my extremely strong-willed mother to make any changes... However, if she's the cause of another person being hurt... I don't know what that would mean to her financially. And believe me, I would NEVER allow MYSELF to be in the same situation, where what I want would jeopardize other's welfare... But my mother is nothing like me.. Everything is always about HER and what SHE wants and HOW she wants it... *sigh*) - Thank you for any insight you might have... = Suzi

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Lawyer told me that if there was any chance of parents causing accident that they could be sued and there would be absolutely nothing left to help take care of them. One parent gladly gave up keys, but the other put up a fight. I took the keys - I do not regret it. Their doctor DID tell them that they should not be on the road and that he did not want to have to go to court to testify against them. Siblings did not agree since they live in dream world - tough!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I'm soooo sorry for all of this you're going through, Marymember.... Bless you... and I think you CAN go to bed.. for tonight... XOXO
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I am going through this problem with my husband. Right now he has been told the truck didn't pass inspection, when in reality that is partly true, but also the mechanic at the dealership where we bought the pickup is going to tell my daughter how to unable the engine so that it won't start. Also, one can have the key unabled, too. It is so frustrating, and makes me almost sick. I am so depressed over all this that I want to go to bed. But I can't, so am going to have to do what is best. He will have to take a driving test through a neurology portion of a hospital, where his license will be taken away. marymember
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

May, 2015 update... I hate to tell you folks... but my mother will be 95 in two months... and she still drives short distances. She has what is called "Borderline Personality Disorder", unbeknownst to her, of course. I.e., there is NOTHING any of us can do to control her behavior in any area of her life and, it's always been that way. HOWEVER, she has become aware of her frailty, FINALLY, and IS afraid of making mistakes, so she is only driving a few blocks to the grocery and her favorite Home Depot...(!) She won't try to go any further. Not good enough I know. But I'm thankful for that much. She is still somewhat independent, living at home with a college-age student living in her apartment (which gives me A VERY LITTLE peace of mind - as part of his low, low rent, is to keep his eyes and ears out to alert me to any trouble, etc. etc.). This is likely to change any minute, any day... But it's WHAT MOTHER WANTS... She is the strongest human power-house personality in an amazingly healthy, considering her age, old body. I've been far weaker and sicker than her for 20 years (with auto immune disease - and the psychic damage of having been raised by HER, to say the least about THAT)! Hahaaa *BIGH SIGH* If any of you believe in prayer or sending "good thoughts" my way, I sincerely appreciate it. And I hope the best for all of you caring for your elderly loved ones...! - Suzi
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I'd like to add that we also had to deal with stopping driving with my mother. I know it was hard and brave for her to do, but at least she did it on her terms. Your mother will get over not being able to drive. You will not be able to get over it if she injures herself or someone else.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

It was certainly time for my MIL to stop driving. On top of fearing that she might injure herself or someone else there was the concern that she took off driving any time of the day or night. If she thought of something she would just take off - what business does an 85 yo have driving around at 10pm on a Friday night. The final straw came when she unfortunately hit the gas not the break. Fortunately she was the only one injured and it all happened right there at a hospital. My husband took her keys, did not pick up the totaled care and told her he would help her pick out a new car after she asked & got a dr.'s note saying she was could drive and would take the drivers test. She never mentioned driving again. It put it all right in her hands to ask and the Dr's hands to say no.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

All great ideas, in some states you can notify DMV and they will ask her to come in for a written and driving test if she fails they are the bad guy. Remember safety first for others on the road/sidewalks! Both my parents failed the test here in Florida and said "oh well we still have our out of state drivers license we will just use those they are good for 5 more years....scary!!!!!! Dad drove until he passed...actually a pretty good driver but mom no way....took her keys away....sold the car and bought one she liked so I could drive her around in it now that she has a wheelchair....it is cute though when I was sick and had to go to the ER she said I can drive you......ahhh...thanks but I can get there in a taxi......they forget and it is such a freedom thing for them. Here in Florida they need to test yearly over a certain age.......I was behind a lady doing 20 mph on the freeway- 70mph here and the same day a older man was coming the wrong way down a one way street it was around a corner so I didn't seem him until the last minute, just one lane... thank god I went off the road to avoid him...he looked at ME like I was nuts......sooo not worth the risk to themselves or others. How many stories have we heard about them crashing into crowds on sidewalks, into houses.....it is just not worth it. And if you have to be the bad guy...then do it.....you may be held liable if you are her caregiver and she gets the keys while you are on duty and ends up hurting someone. As I said I can count daily here all the people that shouldn't be driving.. most snow birds get away with it because they have an out of state license issued years ago.....and drive on that, legally they are to turn it in and get tested after 30 days here. Good luck and make her do the right thing!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Have her driver's license changed to a state issued, picture ID card. It looks just like the driver's license, but isn't and never expires. You may be able to do it online in your state.

Not sure why she hasn't driven in 30 years, but I do wonder why she has a driver's license if she hasn't been driving. There's no way she's been keeping up her skills so it would be a bad situation even without the health issues.

Everyone needs a picture ID for various reasons, so change it to an ID and it will solve that problem. Sorry she is giving you such a hard time. It is the idea of losing her independence that is bothering her. As we age, we lose so many things that we just take for granted. Nobody really looks forward to the day when someone says we can't drive anymore.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

my mother is 84 has a list of health problems and has not drove a car in appx .30 yrs but now all of a sudden she is wanting to drive. She is throwing temper tantrums and even called the police when I refused to give her car keys to her. After the police came, saw her condition and told her she did not need to be driving she only got worse. Her drivers license is valid until January of next year. Should I just wait to intercept her mail and let the license expire? or do I go to the DMV and have them pull the license. Either way is going t be a huge tantrum..any suggestions welcome
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

looloo, I know it's so difficult... But, give yourself a lot of credit for what you did. In time, it'll all be a distant memory (and, no one will have gotten hurt)... The world need more like you!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Living in a crowded city, with lots of traffic -- these stories are not that unusual. Reading yet another one was what propelled me to take action, and as hard as it was, it's a relief to have taken care of it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If you want to see a very sad story about a recent elderly driver (hit and run), read this: thedenverchannel/news/local-news/85-year-old-marshall-smith-given-probation-for-killing-woman-in-hit-and-run-on-colorado-exposition
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Several years ago I reported an elderly gentleman who kept bumping cars when parking in our street. He was taken to court by DMV and a couple of us testified and they took away his license. It was very very sad to have to do this but we felt people's lives could be in danger.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

In NC, you can just call and report an elderly driver at high risk without giving your name. I know a couple of people who have done this. DMV investigated and took the license, explaining that it was appropriate. If the elder is able to comprehend that they have lost their license, then that's it. If they have dementia and can't remember they no longer have a license, their keys and vehicle would need to be secured.

It's such a serious risk, I wouldn't hesitate to take action. The benefit is not worth the risks.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Fl has a reporting form at the following url. http://flhsmv.gov/FloridaGrandDriver/reportUnsafeDriver.html
U of Fl has developed an eval test for the caregiver to take to help make a decision if you have doubts about reporting. https://ufhealth.org/news/2013/uf-develops-online-screening-tool-help-caregivers-identify-risk-older-drivers I asked the doc to order a test for my husband last wed because of his memory problems and she said " Don't you ride with him when he drives? You can tell him when to turn." Sheesh
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Yikes! typo there -- Hoping things would NOT get to the extreme they did... yeesh!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

In my mother's case, we went step by step, hoping things would get to the extreme they eventually did. I enlisted her neurologist's assistance -- he completed the physician's part of the paperwork for the DMV, and I completed my mother's portion on her behalf (she has dementia). The DMV rescinded her license, BUT gave her the option of appearing in person to appeal. I visited her in person and gave her the news about her license being suspended, but did NOT mention the appeals process, because I wanted this to be final (I live a ways away and work full time, and did not want the hassle, stress, and drama of dragging things out). I did my best to explain clearly, over and over, but she is confused most of the time, and outraged that this "was done to her" (she's got a huge victim mentality). She called some neighbor friends after I left, and they explained everything to her -- including the appeals process (gee, thanks for that!!!). For the next several weeks, it was all she could talk about. Called me constantly wanting more clarification, more sympathy, and obsessed about "maybe calling a lawyer??" I kept reminding her over and OVER, Groundhog Day-style, NOT to drive. I also advised her not to pursue an appeal, but if she managed to get that far, and ended up embarassed (because she can no longer pass for someone without severe cognitive impairment), then those would be the consequences she'd have to face. It was an incredibly stressful time.
Finally - about 3 weeks or so later, her neighbor called me, frantic, and said I "had to come down and take her care away NOW" because she kept driving. The neighbor would stop her as much as possible, but she couldn't be there all the time to prevent it. Anyway, removing the car immediately took another several days since I work, and couldn't get down there until the weekend.
My husband and I went down, and did the quickest visit known to man. He said hi, while I found her car key. I distracted her, gave him the key, and he took the car, and drove it away. I told her I had to run, and by the way, Andrew just took her car in for servicing since "you're not allowed to drive right now anyway". Sorry I have to run, I'll talk to you later.... and I was outa there!
She called nonstop for a few more weeks, confused and angry, demanding her car back. I had arranged home care and transportation for her as soon as I received the letter from the DMV, so she wasn't inconvenienced in any way, but she was livid.
Personally, I needed some time and space to get over this whole ordeal, so I didn't respond to her calls, and didn't call her for a good two months (keeping in regular contact with her neighbor and home care people). It wasn't until a few days ago, that she called me, and I answered. She had another question about something else, and didn't mention the car at all. I'm still keeping contact to the minimum, just in case. She is safe and looked after, I'm looking after all of her affairs from a distance that's emotionally safe for me, she seems to be getting over the whole car saga -- and her community is safer too, with one less dangerous driver on the roads. Thank goodness....
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

There are some senior ride programs in various cities to help seniors get around town. In Denver they have Access-A-Ride and Access-A-Cab run by the transit dept. Don't forget to check with your city to see if anything is available for you and your loved one. (You can also ride for free as a 'PCA'... personal care assistant).
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

There are some senior ride programs in various cities to help seniors get around town. In Denver they have Access-A-Ride and Access-A-Cab run by the transit dept. Don't forget to check with your city to see if anything is available for you and your loved one. (You can also ride for free as a 'PCA'... personal care assistant).
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My parents still have their vehicle after 6 years of my Dad not driving.... if my parents had their way, they would be out the door in the car 2 to 3 times PER DAY. At first I had spoiled them when Dad finally had to stop driving, but after awhile it became exhausting for me. Cutting out all the drives was not easy.

Wish my parents would sell or donate their vehicle, but Mom can no longer climb up into my SUV so I have to drive their vehicle whenever I take Mom or the both of them to an appointment. OMG, it's like driving a cruise ship down the highway, and I am getting more seasick with every mile.

Wish my parents would take a taxi once in awhile so I won't have to keep taking time off from work, but Mom won't ride with a stranger.... [sigh]
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My mom is completely deaf, and also completely blind in one eye. At the age of 82 she thought she could still drive, and refused to believe anyone who told her otherwise. I told her she might kill someone including herself if she continued to drive, and then had her doctors tell her the same thing. She was reluctant to believe us at first, but has finally accepted that she should not be driving. It's hard for a previously independent person to give up something that represents a big part of their independence, but necessary. My mom lives with us and I drive her anywhere she needs to go. We still pay minimum insurance on her car rather than selling it, and keep it parked in our driveway so she can look at it. She still hopes to "get better" and be able to drive again one day. She's 84 now, and does not have access to the keys, and the car battery is dead, but still it's a comfort to her to think she might one day drive again, and to see the car sitting there gives her a little sense of independence.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

In NY, the reporting to DMV IS anonymous if the reporter is someone OTHER than a doctor or someone in a position of authority. But please look into having your elder examined by an occupational therapist for a driving eval.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

In many states the dmv has a form to report unsafe drivers. The report is not anonymous. They will ask for your name and relationship to the driver. The form flags potentially unsafe drivers for extra scrutiny. But state drivers license renewals can be very lax. I was shocked that my 80-year old father-in-law got a new license in the mail. No extra anything to demonstrate that he can still see or drive. If your mother has a serious accident and people are killed or property is damaged the lawyers will point to her age and the insurance company will likely drop her as a client after settling. But the injured parties can still go after all her assets separately in civil court. She will have to pay for her defense attorney who will push a settlement because of her age and prior insurance claims from the mailbox and garbage can. Don't hide her keys as that will only make her angry. Be honest and tell her that you are taking them until the doctor clears her for driving. Your mother's driving will get worse as her eyesight and reflexes decline. My good friend's brother was killed because of an 80+ year old driver. He was in the prime of his life and my friend is shattered. She cried on her wedding day because her brother wasn't there to see it. Think about the consequences of doing nothing.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

There's another thread on here about driving... (you can do a word search)
Here's what I wrote to Willie (on his thread):
This is the best thing that could have happened to your mom, you and all the other people that will be safer (that she's not on the road). She'll get over it... When my mother gave up driving (in her 80's) I was so relieved and proud of her. Sure she still wishes she could drive... She even PASSED her driver's license when it was time to renew lately, just to make her feel good... She told me "don't say anything to them, if I don't pass. I'll just get a photo ID). Well, because she DIDN'T have to take a written test, she passed!... Because she knows her impairments (visual, reactions, etc.) she won't get behind a wheel. I tell her many times (which you may want to tell your mom)... that she's so lucky she doesn't have to drive with all the crazy people on the roads, that things are not like they used to be, some driver's are rude, etc. I told I'd love to have someone drive me around... (which isn't far from the truth)... I think your mom knows deep down inside that it's time to give it up... and, assure her... she's been so lucky up until now not to have gotten into and accident. Hope this helps... (hugs to you and your mom/family)
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Caretaker, talk to the doctor. He can arrange for her to be evaluated by an occupational therapist for driving skills. If the doc wont do this, you need a different doctor. Call up your dmv and find out how to get them to call her in for a review of her status. In the end you'll probably have to disable and/or sell the car. Find her a taxi service she can call when she wants to do errands.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Because I wasn't able to run my parents all over the countryside and back day after day, my Dad wanted to get back behind the wheel.

I told my Dad if he is in an accident and it is his fault and someone is seriously injured or killed, he could lose his house, his savings account, his checking account, and all his stocks and bonds, all the money they saved for decades and decades... then what he and Mom have to live off of? Well, that got Dad's attention, he then decided not to try to drive again.

Of course, this could happen to any driver of any age when they aren't paying full time and attention.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I would tell your mothers doctor about her driving, and see if he can be of any assistance. Also, hide all her keys, but offer to drive her anywhere and anytime she wants to go out. Possibly she will start enjoying being chauffeured around and no longer want to drive.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My mother in law hit a telephone pole in a grocery store parking lot. Hit gas instead of break. That was overlooked. A few months later, she and a friend were going out lunch when she drove into the front of the restaurant. She knocked a bunch of bricks loose. She was so embarrassed when people came out of the place to see what was wrong. My brother in law told her later "What did you expect Mom? They probably thought a bomb went off." He then told her for her own safety and the safety of everyone else in Illinois, it was time to stop driving. She didn't like it. Bulled up for quite a while. But bless my bro in law for doing what was best. Do you have siblings? You could form a united front to talk to mom. You know in your heart what's best. Get going. You can do this.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

PS -- You may be just EXACTLY like your mom when you're 93. ;)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If she gets into a serious accident injuring other people, here's what can happen:

The opposing lawyers do a discovery to find out how much money she has. They sue for the amount of her insurance plus all of her assets plus more. If she is obviously at fault? Her insurance company will settle their responsibility and bow out of the case leaving mom hanging out in the wind to provide her OWN attorneys to defend her personal assets.

If you know your mother is an unsafe driver, you are an absolute fool to not confiscate her keys and sell her car.

Period.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter