• Does the driver confuse the gas and brake pedals or have difficulty working them? Drivers who lift their legs to move from the accelerator to the brake, rather than keeping a heel on the floor and pressing with the toes, may have waning leg strength.
• Does the driver seem to ignore or miss stop signs and other traffic signals? Perhaps the driver is inattentive or cannot spot the signs in a crowded, constantly moving visual field.
• Does the driver weave between or straddle lanes? Signaling incorrectly or not at all when changing lanes can be particularly dangerous, especially if the driver fails to check mirrors or blind spots.
• Do other drivers honk or pass frequently, even when the traffic stream is moving relatively slowly? This could indicate difficulty keeping pace with conditions.
• Does the driver get lost or disoriented, even in familiar places? This could indicate problems with memory or early cognitive decline.
When riding along to look for signs of poor driving, keep in mind it doesn’t necessarily mean the person should not drive. Often, poor performance can be improved with training, or by addressing an underlying medical condition. A medical professional can help identify treatment options that may help improve driving ability.
Most people do realize when their driving skills aren’t as sharp as they used to be.