Although there are different types of dementia, all types negatively affect the person with dementia’s driving by damaging various brain functions that are essential for safe driving. Also, because dementia is progressive, the symptoms get worse over time, making the person with dementia’s driving less and less safe. Giving up driving is necessary to keep the person with dementia, as well as others on the road, safe.
Many people with dementia are able to drive safely for some time after
diagnosis. However, research shows that the longer a person with
dementia continues to drive after diagnosis, the chances of getting into
an accident increase. The changes the person with dementia is experiencing are much more complex than the changes people without dementia experience like eyesight issues and slower reaction time. As a result, the person with dementia is not the best person to assess their own driving ability. For example, as you have likely already identified, the person with dementia may:
Inevitably dementia makes driving unsafe in numerous ways such as:
Watch this example of how dementia affects driving.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
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