Giving up driving

jannieOctober 19, 2006

My DH has Multiple Sclerosis. Diagnosed 1998, steadily declining ever since. He refuses to use a cane. He was taking Avonex and Copaxone shots for years, the doc said he was on shots so long, he should stop. Well, he has trouble walking and he is very exhausted. But he does physical therapy three days a week for 90 minutes each, and he drives and goes grocery shopping. But he's had three car accidents since January. Yesterday he smashed up my car so bad it's totalled. Luckily he was not hurt. Hurray for seat belts! But, being a man, he has pride and vanity. I don't want him driving anymore. We are both retired on disability. Him for MS, me for kidney failure. So I feel it's time to get him off the road. He's not old, he's only 58, but I feel his weakness in the legs may have contributed to the accident. The cop at the scene felt it was 50-50. Both drivers at fault. He was making a left turn. The other driver ran a red light. And a witness agreed. So DH feels its "not my fault". But I want him to stop driving before somebody gets hurt. What do you think?

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Three accidents in less that 10 months? I'd bring that up with his doctor. It's not about the damage to the car, it's about the potential damage to other people in other cars. Yes, I think it might be time for him to give up driving. Before the next accident is even worse. Yes, the other driver might have been at fault, but face it, a huge part of today's driving is defensive driving, and that requires good reflexes, which your DH is losing.

OTOH, most men feel that giving up driving is the worst thing that can happen in their lives. This isn't going to be a good battle for you.

At the very least, sign up for AARP senior driving classes, or ones given at your local adult school. That's a good place to start.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2006 at 10:16AM
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Here's a link to the AARP driving classes.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: AARP driving classes

    Bookmark   October 19, 2006 at 11:13AM
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Call your physician and ask who he recommends to do a driver's evaluation. After my dad had a slight stroke, I knew that his reactions were so much slower. He did not pass the evaluation, not even the first half of it. Luckily the evaluator was very helpful in showing my dad how important it was that he not drive until he was able to react quicker. Not that Dad was content to not drive, cuz he wasn't. But that took the burden of convincing Dad off of my shoulders. Dad has gone slowly downhill, mostly in the past 8 months...the stroke was in June '04.

I would think your dr. or insurance man would be wanting your DH to be evaluated!


    Bookmark   October 19, 2006 at 9:14PM
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Someone must make it very clear to him that he cannot drive. What would he and you feel like it if he has a accident and kills a family? Is it worth a chance. I live in a area that we have way too many people that should not drive but do, and I have been to way too many funeral that should never have happened. I am in my 70's and when I feel I can no longer drive, I will give it up. My DH feels the same way, but thank goodness, we have kids who also will tell us.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2006 at 9:15PM
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Right now the jury is deliberating in the case of George Russell Weller -- the 89 year old man who slaughtered those people in California because he "claims" that he thought he was hitting the brake instead of the gas pedal.
10 people were killed, and 60 people were injured. He thought he could drive, too.

Do whatever it takes to have him stop driving. Talk to the Doctor. Some states allow anyone to turn a driver in anonomously. Then, the person has to go in for a driving test. I know that it will be hard for him to stop driving, but think of how you both would feel if something happened. You could be preventing a tragedy.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2006 at 11:21PM
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Well, he's off the road for now. He'll be taking an AARP safety class soon. And we'll discuss the accidents with his doctors, neurologist and psychiatrist included. He will keep his license because it's good identification for check-cashing, at airports,etc. But he won't be driving. My own mother quit driving in her early seventies after she had a minor accident in a parking lot. She hit a sign. It spooked her so much she never drove after that. Thanks for all your opinions.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 9:00AM
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