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Talking to Elderly Adults About Their Driving Skills

Do You Need to Have "the Talk"?

We all love our elderly family members and friends, but sometimes we have to have serious conversations with them about their safety and their well-being. Some indicators that it is time to have the “talk” with an elderly adult or family member about no longer driving include:

  • Noticing new scratches or dings on vehicles
  • Having frequent fender benders or accidents
  • Violating traffic laws or receiving multiple citations
  • Regularly getting lost or forgetting directions

Physical illness, cognitive impairment, vision / hearing loss and the side effects related to certain medications can also be a possible indicator that driving is no longer safe for your aged family member or friend.

What Can You Do?

If your elderly family member or friend is still able to drive, but you want to make sure they are as safe as possible, there are several programs and resources available on this subject. These programs can help you rest easier while your elderly driver is on the road. Here are a few of C. Mark's trusted resources:

The Yellow DOT Program:  The Tennessee Yellow DOT Program is designed to provide first responders with an individual’s medical information in the event of an emergency or an accident on Tennessee’s roadways. Having this valuable information can truly mean the difference between life and death in the “golden hour” immediately following a serious incident.  Participants in the program receive a Yellow DOT decal for their vehicle, Yellow DOT folder and a medical information sheet.

AAA Senior Driving Resources:  AAA has created a website specifically for senior driving information and helpful safety tips. This website offers suggestions for safer night driving, making sure a vehicle is not too large for a senior citizen and even features an online review program to make sure seniors are still able to safely operate a vehicle. 

Consult a Doctor: If after a series of crucial conversations about driving, an elderly adult still refuses to stop driving, C. Mark Warren recommends having a family member accompany them to their next doctor’s visit and share these concerns the doctor.  A doctor may advise his patient that he or she should not be driving for health or medical reasons.

Making a Tough Decision

As a last resort, you may have to confiscate the car keys or take away the car from an elderly adult in order to permanently prevent them from driving and to keep them safe. Although this may be a very difficult thing to do, the consequences of not confiscating the keys may be dire and change both of your lives forever.

Do You or a Family Member Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

If you have any questions about whether you or a family member need representation from an experienced personal injury attorney, do not hesitate to email C. Mark Warren at or call our office at (423) 265-HURT (4878). Warren & Griffin is a well-established local law firm headquartered in Chattanooga, TN and we have experience in getting our clients the compensation that they deserve!



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