Tuesday, September 05, 2000

Eight signs of trouble

        Signs of a possible decline in driving skills:

        1. A pattern of close calls, violations or collisions, even if they are minor.

        2. Increasing difficulty seeing things on the road: Being surprised by passing cars; braking harder than normal for stop lights and signs; running over curbs or go through stop signs.

        3. Decline in physical abilities: Trouble turning head or shoulders before changing lanes; difficulty adjusting to the glare of oncoming headlights; slow reactions; having a hard time keeping centered in the lane.

        4. Signs of emotional challenges of driving: Increasingly nervous, frustrated and angry when driving.

        5. Rapid onset of fatigue from driving.

        6. Signs of decline in mental abilities: Getting confused in simple driving situations; getting lost; no longer using turn signals or mirrors; hitting the accelerator or the brake or vice versa.

        7. Increasing confrontations with other drivers who honk their horns, tailgate or pass aggressively.

        8. Medical conditionsthat may directly, or as a result of medications, may impair driving: Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's Alzheimer's, uncontrolled diabetes, seizure disorders, sleep disorders or ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).

        Source: Supporting the Mature Driver: A Handbook For Friends, Family Members & Advisors (AgeQuest; $6.95) by Barbara Spreitzer-Berent.

Too old to drive
'Crash tests' will weed out high-risk drivers
- Eight signs of trouble
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