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?
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.
I'm in my 9th. year of Parkinson's. I still drive, but not too far. Don't like driving on Interstates where they go so fast.
Mary said she would stop when she would not drive with her grandchildren in her car. That is about the best answer I have heard of. And you never know when traffic, weather or road conditions, or surrounded by bad drivers will happen so just be very aware and careful. Ask a close friend, relative or driving instructor to observe your driving for an assessment of your abilities. You really need to know for sure. Thanks Mary
@A MyParkinsonsTeam Member - I would question that neurologist's knowledge of PD. I realize that PD has different effects individually, but I don't believe that five minutes after being diagnosed with PD suddenly you should fold your tent and creep silently into the night.
If you were reluctant to drive BEFORE diagnosis due to unexplained physical symptoms, perhaps there is some justification for advising you to quit driving. But Assisted living immediately??? That sound like a scare blurb from a unconfirmed source on the internet, not a supposedly knowledgeable MD.
I had to go through one neurologist who was a sleep disorder specialist (she was instrumental in setting me up for CPAP, by the way, just to put to in perspective). My current neurologist frankly admitted to me he is not a PD expert, but we set up an arrangement where we share what we learn about PD and I have confidence in him because he digs into things and doesn't just sit there patting me on the hand.
You might just want to do some additional searching for another neurologist. I would say it was a worthwhile expenditure of your time.