The Effects Of Driving Cessation On Children

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BACKGROUND In the United States, adults over the age of 65 account for 13% of the nation’s current licensed drivers. By the year 2030, researchers expect this number to increase above 20%, as the baby boomer population overtakes the traditionalist generation (Perkinson et al., 2005). With this number steadily rising, it’s startling to note that most adults outlive their driving abilities by six to ten years (Betz, Jones, Petroff, & Schwartz, 2013). Fatal crash rates per mile traveled increase after age 75 – the only demographic with higher rates being teenagers (Classen et al., 2006). Many of these collisions are attributed to aging-related cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or dementia. Since most adult drivers do outlive…show more content…
NORMALIZING DRIVING HEALTH Driving health remains a point of contention amongst families and medical professionals because of the stigma surrounding it. In a study by Liddle et al. (2013), one son of a recently retired driver described the conversation he continued to play out in his head as he worked up the courage to initiate the driving cessation discussion with his father. Before suggesting driver cessation, the son said “I was just plucking up the courage to suggest to him that it was time to stop when he announced that he felt he should not [continue driving].” In today’s society, where speaking of driving health is someone taboo, this is often the first stage that an older driver’s caregiver will go through. The son described himself as a “white knuckled passenger,” holding along for the ride (Liddle et al., 2013). Caregivers can begin to see warning signs in the older driver’s capabilities on the road, but are hesitant to speak up. The literature out there isn’t readily accessible to families, leaving everyone unaware of how to incite the dialogue. Given the stigma behind driving cessation decisions, the driver’s adjacent parties begin to point fingers and play the blame game. In general, no one wants to take responsibility for bringing the conversation up. Ethically, health care providers should feel obligated to step up when a patient’s
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