Watch it, you idiot!
My husband and I often take car trips together up and down the East Coast to visit family. When my husband gets angry at other drivers, his temperament changes completely from fun-loving to someone who is going to “teach people a lesson.” He gives dirty looks and cusses them out. Other drivers often honk at him or yell. He thinks he’s a great driver.
Anyway, today I told him he was being a butt to the other drivers. He became profane and told me what I could do with my opinions. I waited a few minutes before telling him I did not feel I deserved his language. He said he didn’t care. I know that I called him a butt first, but was I wrong to say that I did not want to be in the car with him any longer? He refuses to let me drive.
I have been suggesting marriage counseling because he mimics me when he is angry, but so far, he is too busy. I have avoided being in the car with him as much as possible. He says I am being too paranoid and judgmental of his driving. I disagree. What do you think?
— Buckled Up
Not paranoid, just smart. Your husband needs to address his road rage problem before he hurts someone with his aggressive driving (or flips off the wrong driver and ends up in a fight).
Ask whether he’d be willing to let you record him in the car sometime. Then play it back to him a few days later, when he’s at home and calm. For many people, it’s enough of a wake-up call just to hear how they sound when they’re in road rage mode.
I would also encourage him to seek anger management treatment before marriage counseling, as this seems to be less a problem between you and more a problem between him and himself.
Iaminmy late 70s, and I am distraught at my friends who drive but are so infirm that they can barely move their legs or their necks. To see something to the side, they have to twist their upper body because of stiffness in their neck.
But they all drive. There is no way their legs could quickly move up and over to their brake. I will leave to another time their ability to hear a horn or see a running child.
My plea is to the middle-aged child. Look at your parents! Assess their flexibility and alertness. Be their passenger if you dare. Every one of us is meeting them on the streets, and we are terrified. You know these good people don’t want to kill anyone, but is that what you are waiting for?
Please take their car away when the need becomes obvious — not because of age but because of increasing infirmity. It is only going to get worse.
— Scared of My Friends
Thank you for raising this important issue. It’s understandable that after a lifetime of driving, people are reluctant to give up the keys, but after you turn 70, the risk of being injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash increases as you age.
Some states have taken legislative measures intended to prevent seniors who are not fit to drive from getting behind the wheel, such as disallowing the renewal of driver’s licenses by mail after a certain age. But many states don’t have such laws. That makes it all the more important for adult children, as you mentioned, or other loved ones to get involved.
The Department of Motor Vehicles suggests the following tips to seniors who are still eligible to drive and would like to continue doing so safely:
--Exercising regularly to increase strength and flexibility.
--Asking your doctor to review medicines to reduce side effects and interactions.
--Having your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year.
--Driving during daylight and in good weather.
Stay safe out there.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.