OLDER DRIVERS &
When an elderly person is having health problems, friends and family members often become concerned about whether he or she should continue driving.
Health issues resulting from normal aging do not necessarily mean a person cannot or should not drive (see the Older Drivers page for seniors). In contrast, problems such as vision loss, fatigue or memory problems caused by an injury or disease certainly may mean driving now poses a danger. The individual's primary care doctor is the best person to answer that question from a medical standpoint. And, physicians are required to notify the DMV if a patient is not safe to drive.
Retiring from driving is a major life event; it should not be taken lightly. We recommend older drivers gradually transition to other forms of transportation to ease fears of being trapped or isolated.
Sometimes, people simply refuse to give up the car keys, even though a doctor or other professional has directed them to limit their driving or to stop altogether. In those cases, the DMV and/or the California Highway Patrol should be notified, so that the license can either be suspended or revoked. If that does not bring unsafe driving to an end, the family may need to physically remove the keys from the person's residence or disable the vehicle.