I would like to know how many people are still comfortable with driving? And those of you that no longer drive, what was the deciding factor?
I use to drive professionally for 17 1/2 years driving a gasoline tanker truck 18 wheeler with all of the adorsements on my CDL license. I also had to possess a Twic card on me to get into all of the federal ports to load the tank up with gasoline and diesel fuel. You had to have no blemishes on your personal records in order to receive the twic card which was a actual federal badge that they could trac me at any point at any time and know in seconds exactly where I was. I also had to have a clean driver’s record to drive the truck. My license was my meal ticket. If I got a speeding ticket even on my own time in my own vehicle then there went my job also. Most people don’t fall under those guidelines but I choose it and yes I was proud of that accomplishment of getting my standard license at age 16 and up to the age of 46 I had a perfect clean as a whistle drivers record. Back in 2011 I went on vacation in October and not knowing this at the time but I was never able to return to work because of a plague of illnesses struck at once at I became disabled.
With all that said I willingly stopped driving because I personally did not want to be responsible for killing anybody else I would not be able to except myself if I ever did. So for me it was fairly easy to stop driving. I.do have family that can bring me to do errands and I know if you don’t that obviously makes it a long harder but you got to ask your self honestly, if you kill someone or some bodies are you willing to except the pretty harsh charges you’re going to be facing????
To me if you know your a risk don’t play Russian roulette because eventually everyone’s luck runs out!!! Then the day it does it will be to late to go back.
Thank you in advance, make the right choice because even though I’m not driving my family is and I’m in the passenger seat!
My occupational therapist referred me to a driver testing facility to have a test. They do not report the results to your DMV, so when you find out the results you can decide whether or not to keep driving. The tester told me my driving was fine and I should come back in two years to get retested (I'm 72). She also suggested I drive at least once a month with my husband in the car so he can advise whether or not he sees that my driving is deteriorating. You should be able to get info on a similar facility near you from your OT, PT or neurologist. One of the reasons I wanted to do this was in case I was ever in an accident, the other party would not be able to blame the accident on my PD because I'd been tested as a safe driver in spite of my PD.
But what about this. Parkinson's slows the reflexes. Especially in legs/feet. Also causes freezing. And this is usually intermittent. Sometimes everything functions normally, sometimes it seems like the feet are filled with lead. How do you determine if you are safe to drive while knowing your leg/foot might not respond like it should to hit the brake in time?
The question I always ask myself is: "Would I drive with my grandchildren in the car?" (Or even: "Would I drive ON THIS ROAD or IN THIS RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC or IN THIS WEATHER with my grandchildren in the car?" I'm not going to do anything to risk injury to any of them, and when my answer becomes, "No" then I will either refuse to drive that route or hand over my license.
I have received positive feedback from my previous post on driving technologies that can greatly enhance your safety as a Parkinson's patient that wants to extend the ability to drive. Specifically. I am referring to some amazing tech as follows: 1) Most cars already have backup camera; I am referring to the following which can save your life and avoid a crash 1) Collision avoidance and cross traffic alert/avoidance (Brakes your car when it senses someone is too close or stops quickly in front, or doesnt stop from the side - this one already saved me once when a car crossing did not stop at stop sign) 2) Blind spot monitoring - warns you when someone is next to you 3) Lane departure warning - tells you and corrects if you are drifting over the line 4) Auto pilot - Drives your car on the highway for you - this is a huge fatigue reduction for me...eliminates all the miniscule corrections and does that all for you. 5) Adaptive cruise - This used to be terrible tech,, but now it is awesome and maintains a safe driving distance 6) Spacing warnings - this displays a yellow light on your windshield if you are too close to the guy in front of you for the speed you are going. This all sounds like a lot going on, but it is truly seamless, reduces fatigue, and keeps you safe. Not all cars have all of this - make sure it is one that is known for safety and latest tech.