According to a study by AAA, accidents increase after the age of 65, and fatal accidents, in
particular, are more likely to occur after 75. For the sake of both the aging driver and others on the road, it is paramount that you sit down now and discuss what to do if and when it’s time for a member of the family to put down the keys, and who will be in charge of leading that talk.
When to give up the keys is a tough conversation. Family members struggle to determine whose “place” it is to say something. But in the same way that you would plan for your estate, it’s also a good idea to plan for this type of situation.
Advanced Driving Directive
To help your family figure out a plan, you can use an advance driving directive. The purpose of this document is for the driver to name the person that he/she wants to initiate the discussion about whether to continue driving or not when the time is right.
This document may sound like a medical power of attorney, which transfers the actual decision-making powers. But an advance driving directive document does not appoint anyone to make the final “cease-driving” decision for the driver. Instead, this paper names someone whom the driver would like to have broach this touchy subject.
Whom to Choose
For some that could be a spouse, sibling, adult child or a long-time friend. While it’s important to note that an advance driving directive has no actual legal significance, and isn’t likely to be enforceable in court, it can be extremely useful and makes an awkward conversation that much easier.
What to Include
Before anyone starts handing over car keys, it’s important that an advanced driving directive spells out clearly all the driver’s wishes so loved ones can do their best to help. Here are a few things to consider including:
At Kelly and West, we pride ourselves on protecting you and what you hold dear. Helping you plan for driving in your advanced years is part of that mission. Use this helpful Advanced Driving Directive template to prepare, or contact us for more help.
Oliver and Sherrie M. – Car Accident
“We were hit head-on by someone who run a red light. I got bruised up real bad inside and I had just had shoulder surgery and it inflamed that. My wife was hurt the worst. It disfigured her right arm. We were referred to Mr. West through our son-in-law so we went up and set an appointment with him. We went in and met him for the first time and he is a very nice gentleman to say the least. He took over the case and found out who the [driver] was. It had totaled the car and I had just gotten it paid off. They didn’t even get hurt. Mr. West took the case and went way out of his way to help. The lady who hit us … they had only the cheapest insurance to get the car on the road … so he helped us get more money to help us pay the bills. We are very happy with how it turned out. Kelly and West, they’re good people. You can talk to them and they’re down home people.”