Access and Resources
Hanging Up the Car Keys
It’s not easy to hang up the car keys. Yet everyone at some point faces this decision. Should I stay behind the wheel? Or should I return to life in the passenger’s seat?
We live in communities built around cars. So planning for driver cessation is vital to maintaining a healthy, independent life. (Statistics Canada says that women outlive their driving career by ten years and men by seven years.) The transition from driving is one of the toughest that drivers and their families have to face.
The resources listed below can help you make that transition. You will find some alternatives to private car ownership, a great planning tool designed by STAR, and much, much more.
The National Blueprint for Injury Prevention in Older Drivers provides Mature Driver tips to help you drive more safely. They also help you make the transition from driving when you decide it is time.
BCAA Road Safety Foundation describes some of the signs that may mean it is time to stop driving. This resource also explains what to do once you’ve made that decision. To learn more click here.
Do you suspect that medical conditions or medications are affecting your ability to drive, or that of someone you love? Consult DriveABLE BC.
Are you a mature driver with concerns about your physical and mental fitness to drive? Have you concerns about the driving ability of a senior family member? Check out the information available from the BC Ministry of Justice.
Some of these videos might be useful when you’re thinking about giving up the keys, or helping a loved one do so.
• AAA Driver cessation education & information
• AAA Keep driving safely to keep driving longer
• Toronto Geriatric Rehab Centre
• ABC News: Deciding when it is time to give up driving
• ABC News: When Should The Elderly Stop Driving
HealthLink BC provides information about driver cessation in British Columbia.
For additional information specific to BC you may wish to consult the 2010 BC Guide in Determining Fitness to Drive put out by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles.
The Whistler Mature Action Committee Lifestyle Planning Guide shows how driver cessation might fit in with many of the other decisions essential to a fulfilling retirement.
This brief article from the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning explains how ethnic groups in Canada often differ in their outlooks on driving cessation. See Ethnic Differences: Seniors’ Perceptions Around Driving Cessation.
Assessing medical fitness to drive in the older driver, is an article which explains how physicians should screen seniors and assess their medical fitness to drive. It is published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
NIH Senior Health discusses a range of issues around senior drivers – stressing that it is not a person’s age but health that determines when a person should stop driving.
Transportation and Dementia is a detailed fact sheet published by The Beverly Foundation.
Driving Cessation and Dementia is an important article prepared by the Alzheimer’s Association.
The following articles reference a number of important reports:
• Driving with Dementia: Understanding the Safety Risks was prepared by the American Academy of Neurology and helps readers understand the risks associated with driving with dementia.
• Seniors: When To Turn Over The Car Keys provides basic tips for assessing your driving, talking to your family about your driving abilities, and dealing with the transition from driving to other means.
• Physicians’ Warnings for Unfit Drivers and the Risk of Trauma from Road Crashes is a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The report explains how car accidents can be reduced if doctors warn their patients when they may be unfit to drive.