Sasha Answers: My grandpa is a terrible driver
Hi Sasha My grandpa is a wonderful man, but he is in his mid 80s and drives quite recklessly. I'm so scared he will end up hurting someone and I don't know what to do because no one in my family is proactive about this. He's driven into side rails, barriers, poles, mailboxes, and my aunt's car. He's denied banging up my aunt's vehicle, but it was tucked safely in the driveway that he often parks in during his visits. Plus, there was white paint scraped on her red car, and he owns a white sedan. He lost his wife (my grandma) about 13 years ago, and he has a girlfriend, but he rarely sees her since she hurt her hip. My father and his sisters have all discussed asking Grandpa to retire his driver's license, and my mom's been pestering my dad about it, but nothing has happened so far because they don't want to damage their relationship with him. His ability to drive IS his social life, and I doubt he'd ever take the bus to get around. My mom has expressed her concerns to me because when she brings it up with my dad, he gets frustrated and sad. He doesn't want to take away his dad's independence, but he knows what could happen if he continues to drive. I know that our insurance corporation randomly selects older people and re-tests them on their driving skills, but nothing like that has happened for my grandpa so far. If the company took grandpa's license away, then his children wouldn't have to be blamed for taking away his social life. I feel like someone should call the company and voice their concerns, but the issue is so sensitive, I don't even know how to bring it up. Is there any way to salvage my grandpa's relationship with his kids? Should I make the call?
Getting old is life’s biggest bait and switch. You spend almost a century, a f-cking century, having to endure highs and lows, learning from your mistakes, bouncing back, only to get to the finish line for someone to strap a diaper on you and rip away all the privileges that you've earned.
It straight up sucks, but I’ll tell you what sucks more: going to jail at 80 for killing someone. And S, that’s the way you need to think about it. Look, I think we’re all on the same page here – we want gramps to still get drunk on sherry with, like, the two friends he has left and get busy with his bird, but the reality is we gotta worry less about him right now and more about everyone on the road. Right? Right.
So S, if he really is a danger, then yes, I really do think you need to make the call. It’s too bad your parents aren't the ones to do this, but if no one has the guts then props to you for doing it. I know no one wants to take his independence away, but the way I see it, this protects him from making sure nothing is taken away from him sooner than it needs to be.
Thanks for writing in and please keep me posted! xx