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When to stop driving
My grandmother quit driving about two decades ago. Traffic was moving too fast for her to keep up. Motorists who were in a hurry to get where they were going scared her. She also realized that she was changing. Her reaction time was slowing down and she was having to plan her route carefully and stick to it or else she'd forget where she was going or get lost in a city she had lived in for more than 30 years. While my grandma gave up her license on her own free will, there are drivers out there who couldn't think of life without the independence that driving gives them. If you have a family member whom you feel should not be driving, visit the Department of Motor Vehicles web site and take the Senior Driver Self-Assessment test. The web address is www.dmv.ca.gov/about/senior/senior_self_ess.html. There, you'll find 15 questions asking about the senior's driving habits and frustrations, brushes with a traffic officer and collision history. The score will help open up a dialogue, as it reveals the areas to focus on and change, as well as what driving habits to keep. If your loved one's score indicates that driving is no longer an option, yet your loved one refuses to give it up, there are actions you can take. Check out the DMV's Senior Guide for Safe Driving at http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl625/dl625senior.pdf Once at the site, you'll learn more about signs that someone may not be fit to be behind the wheel and alternatives to driving. There's also information about forms that can be downloaded and mailed to the DMV requesting that your loved one be retested. If the person fails, the DMV can revoke their driving privileges. Contacting the DMV about a family member whose driving scares you to death isn't limited to senior drivers. Use that information to report a scary driver of any age. Perhaps, the driver is an uncle with a health issue that makes him lose consciousness without warning. When making the tough decision to contact the DMV, think about the life and safety of your loved one, as well as that of the other people using the road.
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