Memory’s Vital Role in Older Driver Safety

By Matt Gurwell, founder of Keeping Us Safe, LLC

We’ve all done it; gotten ourselves lost while traveling to an unfamiliar area, or even losing our car in a crowded parking lot.  Some of us (myself included) have even gotten lost while using a GPS.  One has to wonder, how is that even possible?  But for an older driver who finds his or herself getting lost in otherwise familiar areas, this decline in memory can be a significant warning sign that danger may lay ahead.

In the family setting, the issue surrounding the important role memory plays in older driver safety is often understated or even overlooked all together.  For obvious reasons, when we discuss age-related diminished driving skills in older adults, we tend to focus on the physical attributes of safe driving (vision, reflexes, strength, flexibility, hearing, etc.), and may overlook the crucial role memory plays in keeping older drivers safe.