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Elderly Father not fit enough to drive but wont listen, are there any laws with regards to age

(11 Posts)
mummatotwo Sat 11-May-13 08:32:11

My DF is 81 and has weak legs and fairly often they give way and he has no feeling, He hasnt drive due to the winter bad weather and also not being well enough.

I have spoken to him about how I feel he is not now in the position to be driving and given him the sernario if his legs pack up whilst driving he could injure himself and another person or even knock down a child. Also his reflectors are no way as good as they used to be.

His attitude is I wont be going far just pottering around he wont listen and Im very, very worried.

I there a law that says you have to re-take your test at a certain age, or worse case I thinking of having a word with his Dr to see if he can advise or worse get him to write to the DVLA

any advice would be great please

JessKM Sat 11-May-13 09:28:45

We had the same problem with my father in law...he has very bad health issues wit his lower the point where some of his toes actual fell off. He was 85 at the time and determined he wasn't going to give it up, as he saw it as his independence.

In the end my DH contacted the DVLA on his behalf as whie there is no law on age, there is a law that says you have to tell them You have a health concern that may affect your driving. They contacted him almos immediately asking him to either resit a test (theory, hazard and practical!) or surrender his license.

FIL was mad at first but DH is a firefighter and has attended so many traffic accidents he explained to his dad that he didn't want o have to cut him out f a wreck. After a few weeks he realised it was done out of love and concern, and then bought a littl motorised scooter. He can still whizz around the place, but without putting everyone at risk!

sashh Sat 11-May-13 09:58:36

Is it just his legs?

If his eye sight and reflexes are fine then why not just get his car adapted?

A basic push/pull adaption is about £400

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 11-May-13 11:01:27

I would be talking to his GP in the first instance.

The driving licence is renewed every 3 years over the age of 70, its not mandatory to retake a driving test.

If he has limited feeling in his lower limbs then he is likely not fully fit now to drive.

MrsWeasel Sat 11-May-13 11:09:46

Does he have any diagnosed medical conditions. If so, he may have to inform the DVLA - see linky

We are going through the same thing with a very elderly relative who thinks they can still drive despite having very limited limb use and passing out episodes. They also think that they will just be pottering about and will only be at risk of a minor prang. They don't seem to realise that they could hit a pedestrian if they lost control (which they will.) You have my sympathy.

juneau Sat 11-May-13 11:27:34

I would contact the DVLA immediately. Could you live with yourself if he hit someone? I know I couldn't. He'll be angry, but better that than the alternative. He can still use the bus, get a taxi or get a motorised scooter as the relative of the poster above did. If all he wants to do is tootle around his local area then any of those options would be fine, surely?

Pandemoniaa Sat 11-May-13 18:16:57

Please contact the DVLA immediately. A friend of mine was killed (mercifully instantly) by an elderly driver with Alzheimers. Despite him knocking her across his windscreen (she was in a cycle lane) he was so out of it that he was unaware that he'd caused a fatal accident. When the police asked his family why on earth he was still driving they said they hadn't wanted to upset their Dad because he loved his driving. Ultimately, their lack of action upset very many more people than their Dad and they will always have this on their conscience.

Another friend simply parked her elderly father's car in the garage and put a wardrobe in front of it. He was cross but actually, admitted later that he wasn't safe and she'd done the right thing.

greeneyed Sat 11-May-13 19:59:53

I've seen an old man drive at speed straight into a wall outside my house. Thankfully he was okay, he said sonething happened to his legs and he couldn't take his foot off the accelorater. It really shook me as it is a culdesac where often there would be several young kids out playing, the guy went straight up onto the pavement and through someones garden wall at speed. Thankfully no one was hurt but I hope he never drove again. Show him this thread!

Purplehonesty Sat 11-May-13 20:47:18

Yy Contact dvla

IrritatingInfinity Sat 11-May-13 21:01:53

Unfortunately I don't think you have any choice, you either have to persuade him to contact DVLA or you need to do it for him.

I am contemplating doing the same with my Dad. His eyesight is deteriorating and I have promised myself that I will do something when I next see him. It won't be pleasant as he can't walk well but loves to be out and about all the time. sad

Showtime Sat 11-May-13 21:33:30

Irritating Infinity has the right idea.
A friend who's job was with the elderly in the community once told me there was no way they could stop someone driving until they'd had an accident - having someone like this living nearby used to worry me until daughter stopped him driving.

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