Is Your Dad’s Car the Right Vehicle for His Needs?

By 4  pm On


Your dad’s always loved his truck. As he’s aged, you wonder if it’s still the right vehicle for him. He’s taken off the side mirrors twice now when parking it in his garage. How can you tell if a car is the right fit or not? What do you do if it isn’t?

Driving Checks to Make Right Now

Have your dad sit down in his truck. Have him position the seat where he’s comfortable. Can he reach the brake and gas pedals without having to stretch? If it’s a manual shift, can he reach the clutch with ease? Is he able to move his right foot between the two pedals without having to use his hand to lift his foot off a pedal?

Is he able to quickly turn on his windshield wipers and directionals? Does he have the upper body stretch to set his parking brake? Can he reach the mirrors to adjust them as needed? If he can’t lift his arm high enough to adjust his rearview mirror, there’s a problem.

If your dad’s steering wheel tilts, is it adjusted so that he’s at least 10 inches from the airbag within the steering wheel? Does he have to be closer to reach the pedals? If he’s closer than 10 inches, he’s too close and could get a chest injury if the airbag inflates.

Does he get aggressive with other drivers? If someone cuts him off or does something wrong, does he start tailgating, honking his horn excessively, or other acts of road rage? If so, his temperament needs to change or he needs to let someone else drive.

Finally, have your dad take you for a drive. Pay attention to his reaction times for normal braking and for sudden obstacles like an animal or kid darting across the road. Make sure he uses his directional signals appropriately and doesn’t cut off other drivers.

What Happens Now?

Convince your dad that it’s safer for him and others if he stops driving. He may not love the idea, but his safety has to come first. Make sure he’s aware that he can still have others drive him anywhere he wants to go.

Senior care services cover a wide range. They’re designed to help your dad remain independent both inside and outside his home. If he cannot drive safely anymore, he doesn’t have to stop going out to stores and area attractions. He can ask for safe rides from his caregiver instead.

Make sure your dad understands that giving up his keys doesn’t mean giving up his freedom. Call a senior care agency and discuss transportation services for your dad.

If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Sterling, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 782-3655.