Nearly 25 years ago, I inched into the second of two southbound lanes of traffic in order to go north. The instant I crossed into the lane a distinct noise shocked me as two bodies flew over my windshield. The motorcycle heading south was hidden from my view by the traffic stacked north of me on the inside lane. Two bodies littered the lane to my right. Thankfully the couple survived. Turning left has never been the same scenario for me.
Fifteen years after the accident, I took my mom to the same intersection. Both mom and dad were in the car with me when the horrible accident occurred. Mom was now in her late 70s and had recently caused a hit and run accident partially caused by her diabetes. I intended to sit in the parking lot across from the spot where the people laid helplessly on the road those years before.
As I gathered the gumption to tell mom why she needed to stop driving, I reminded her of the accident I had been involved with as a 33 year-old man. As I explained reaction time, the horror of hurting others with a vehicle and the possibility of her doing likewise, she stared at me seeming to wonder what I was talking about. The concern of a conflict over taking her driving privileges away was replaced with a deeper concern. Did mom have the cognitive skills to even sit in the driver’s seat? I was confident of the answer but was clueless how to stop her from driving.
We have helped several families discuss this season of life and have put together a booklet offering some suggestions to consider before you jump into a similar conversation. If you would like a copy, please email me at KTyner@GimbalFinancial.com.
This Forbes article offers some great insight into the mindset of helping those who maybe can’t help themselves.
Keep the faith! kt