LAKELAND — Many states and countries, especially ones like Florida with large senior populations, face the issue of what to do about people who’ve lost the ability to drive safely because of age-related conditions.
So, too, do many families, as Karen Braddy, 50, of Lakeland discovered. The solution often divides families.
Six years ago, the family was concerned about her now-late aunt, then 87, who had clearly lost the ability to drive safely, Braddy said. Another aunt wrote a letter to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, expressing the concerns about her sister’s driving.
The department acted by requiring the 87-year-old to undergo a medical exam and road test, Braddy said. She failed, and her license was revoked.
“She was mad,” Braddy said. “She complained that she couldn’t go to church or couldn’t go to the grocery store. She wrote her (sister) out of her will.”
Fear of losing freedom and independence is the chief reason many older people don’t confront the deterioration of their driving skills, according to authorities who work with older drivers.