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How to talk with a parent about giving up driving

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Personal Injury |

When people get older, their driving abilities degrade, leading to a greater likelihood of accidents. Younger generations are responsible for raising the possibility of restricting the right to drive.

Discussing this topic can be emotionally painful for everyone, yet avoiding the matter could allow a wreck that results in permanent injury or even death.

Choose optimal conditions

Select the most appropriate time and place for having this conversation. Locate a quiet and comfortable setting where you can talk without interruption. Ensure that everyone’s schedule accommodates exploring the subject thoroughly.

Express thoughts delicately

Use a calm and empathetic tone. Emphasize that your primary interest is preventing someone from being hurt. Provide specific examples that help illustrate your worries more clearly. Use phrasing such as, “Last week, you seemed to have trouble seeing the stop sign. I am worried that your weakening eyesight could lead to an accident.”

Be a good listener

Let your parent respond without interruption. Listen closely to your loved one’s concerns and frustrations without reacting. Then, repeat back what you hear in your own words. Acknowledging the person’s thoughts and emotions increases feelings of understanding and respect. Ultimately, this approach can make the individual more receptive to your message.

Suggest alternatives

Offer practical substitutes for driving that allow your mother or father to remain independent. Discuss options such as public transportation, ride-sharing services and community shuttle programs. Highlight how these ways of getting around will let them stay active without the stress of being behind the wheel.

Although a challenge, having this chat is far preferable to someone ending up in the hospital or dying. With a considered approach, you can voice your concerns without imperiling the relationship.