By: Susan M. Graham, Certified Elder Law Attorney, The Graham Law Office, P.A., Boise, Idaho 83702
Driving in this country is important. You can elect when and where you are going out. Losing driving privileges can be distressing as it represents a milestone in life that a person is no longer physically able to drive and they lose some of their independence.
But, there may come a time for each of us when it is no longer safe to drive, and we may not notice (or don’t want to notice) when that day arrives.
I don’t want to be like my client who drove down the street, scrapped 15 parked cars and clipped off every car’s mirror. He denied it was his fault. ”They all parked wrong.”
What steps can we take to protect us from hurting ourselves or hitting some innocent person?
Authorize a trusted agent, perhaps your health care agent, to help make the decision that you are no longer capable of driving. Here is some suggested language to add to your health power of attorney.
My agent is authorized to tell my doctor that in my agent’s opinion, I am a danger to others when I drive. I realize that this might result in the loss of my driving license and driving privileges. I also realize that I may not agree with my agent when my agent comes to this conclusion. However, I do not want to endanger myself and I do not want to endanger others. Therefore, I put this decision in my agent’s hands, as I have the utmost trust and confidence in my agent.1
1Driving Miss Daisy, by Ruth A. Phelps, Trusts & Estates, July, 2011, pages 18-20.