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Mom still drives about once a week. She is confused and can't tell which pedal her foot is on. The other morning I heard a terrible roaring sound and it was mom sitting in the car she had just gotten into with her foot pressed all the way to the floor on the accelerator for FIVE MINUTES! She was struggling to get it into reverse but it won't go unless her foot is on the brake. I am so scared! I had her pain doctor send in a report on it to DMV. Now she got a letter from them asking her to take a form they sent to her doctor to fill out. But she will take it to her other doctor who won't write anything about her to make them take away her license. I LIVE with mom and she will make my life HELL when she finds out I am behind this but now I have to talk to thie OTHER doctor of hers. He will not do anything at all, he is one of those uncaring imcompetent doctors. I am terrified 1. she will kill someone or herself 2. she will find out I am reporting her to get her licese revoked. She will disinherit me, never talk to me again and kick me out --I am disabled with nowhere to go. HELP!
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Hello mothershelper11:

It is only natural to feel worried about the driving situation. I think that is one of the toughest problems to deal with. There are a couple of articles on the web about the subject (many are put out by insurance companies). Here are some links that might help:


I hope these help... Have you tried talking to your mother about it? She may realize that she is having troubles and might be relieved to get it out in the open. Meanwhile, try not to get too stressed out and think of what alternatives are available - such as vanpools for seniors. Good luck and take care of you, too...

Love and Hugs from Glenda
I feel so bad for you. It is really scary to think of the things that could happen if your mom should be involved in an accident. Not only could she be seriously injured, but she could injure or kill someone else.

Last year, there was a man in southern California who mistook the brake pedal for the gas peddle and crashed his car into a group of people on the sidewalk, killing some.

Between the doctor and the DMV, it is possible to get your mother's driver's license revoked without her ever knowing you were involved in any of it. I wish you luck in doing what you must do. It's really hard to become the parent to our parent. <sigh> I really know that. Good luck. Keep us posted how it works out for you.

Hi mothershelper..: )

yikes, the driving issue..went through that with my father after he had his first stroke which left him with infarct dementia..he came home from the hospital and rehab not even remembering how to use an alarm clock..but..would his family doctor sign the paper stating he shouldn't be driving..nope..
He'd told us to use his car while he was in the hospital so we had it when we took him home, we didn't leave it with him, thinking he might just forget about it or decide he was too scared to try driving, but a couple days later he asked for his car back..I felt just ill, he was a horrible driver before the stroke, now I knew he'd be even worse..
He used it once, and I think he was terrified even if he wouldn't admit it..but just to be on the safe side I fought my own little battle with our licensing department and finally threatened them..then they sent him out a paper stating he had to write his learners plus do a road test..he failed about 4 times on the written part and ended up admitting his driving days were over..
From all that I learned that it's very hard for the elderly to admit they can't or shouldn't be doing something they'd done all their lives, and it's also the independence issue too..I gave him daily pep talks for a while after this about driving being no big deal and that we certainly didn't mind taking him anywhere he needed to go..

Let us know how you're doing handling this issue with your mom..and good luck..: )

take care
I don't know how large your community is, but if you're not in a huge city, the next time your mother gets into her car to drive, call the police and make them aware of your concerns. She is a danger to her own safety, as well as to the public. Let the police pull her over and ticket her - more than once, if necessary. She's going to come to the attention of the police and the traffic court and they may solve your problem for you. There's nothing like the help of the local law enforcement.

You might also consider letting her insurer know about your concerns. If they know she's dangerous, they may cancel her policy and you've got the excuse you need to take away her keys - in nearly every state, it is illegal to drive without liability insurance.

This may sound like harsh treatment, but weigh the risks involved. From your description, it appears that she could easily hit and possibly kill a child or pedestrian. What would you rather face? Your mother's anger because you got her license yanked or the repercussions in your community if she hits someone? Could you live with yourself if something like that happened, knowing that you had not done everything you could to prevent it?

Intervening in a parent's life is a very difficult thing to do, but sometimes you have to just suck it up, damn the consequences and try to do the right thing.
I have to put my 2 cents worth in here, because of what happened with a co-workers elderly mother. She was in her 80's a drove herself around quite abit even though she was in failing health. One day, she ran a red light and T-boned another car. The passengers in the other car included small children. Fortunately, they only sustained minor injuries. The elderly woman sustained a fractured hip and numerous other injuries. Both vehicles were totalled.

The elderly woman never healed properly from her injuries and died within a year. Her license, of course, was revoked and she had to pay massive fines over and above what her insurance covered. They, of course, canceled her coverage.

When my Mom was first diagnosed with COPD, she continued to drive for maybe a year at the most. Then one day, she was going to the store and parked in a No Parking spot and got a ticket. That ticket upset her so much, she never got behind the wheel again. I was glad, even though it meant I had to take her where ever she wanted to go. Her philosophy was that if she couldn't be attentive enough to figure out a No Parking zone, she probably wasn't attentive enough to drive responsibly in traffic. I was proud of her.

Please do what you know in your heart that you need to do. Yes, it will be very difficult, but you will also probably be saving lives ... possibly your mother's.

that's a sad story...

almost every day while out driving I see an elderly person behind the wheel not checking before switching lanes, going through stop signs, turning from a wrong lane..and the list goes on..the point being that in my opinion once you reach a certain age, say 65 or should have to retake your written and your road test every year, even if you've not suffered a stroke etc..things within bodies change whether we want to admit it or not...we not only endanger ourselves driving if we really shouldn't, plus we put everyone else in danger, be it other drivers or even pedestrians..

That is basically what/how I threatened our license bureau when they renewed my fathers license after his stroke/dementia diagnosis...I told them that if he drives and hurts anyone I would be right there helping their lawyers, telling them I informed the gov't licensing office about his conditions, yet still they granted him his renewal...that threat seemed to finally make them at least do something..
It just doesnt pay to put something like this off for too long..driving isn't to be taken lightly..

One situation in my own family comes to of my fathers uncles, years back..had lung conditions and was on O2..he drove regularly but one day he was on the highway with his wife, not sure what happened but from the reports sounded like a lapse of oxygen or something..made him sleepy..he veered into the oncoming lane and there was a head killed everyone in both vehicles..
So, if you know someone who you just are a bit leery about their ability to handle a vehicle, call your license bureau and see what you can do to get them to retake doesn't hurt to try and could save a life...

take care
Dont fret to much about what the doctors write. I just went through the same thing with my mom. The biggest worry was my going behind her back and loosing what trust she has for me.First off the DMV can not report who requested a review if its from a medical practioner, social worker or a family member.The doctor has to legally provide a diagnosis and what her curent rxs are as well as provide supportive proof. Doctors in general suck at doing this this is why the dmv will review all info then schedule a written and =driving test for your mom. The worst part of this is the amount of time this takes. I sent the paper work reporting my concerns about my moms ability in oct of 06. In Mar 07 the dmv requested medical records within 30 days or her liscense will be suspended. Mom did not comply with the request and we are still waiting from the dmv. So just to be safe I I unplug her coil wire from the carand pick up her keys when I see them laying around.

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