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Could a contract help a parent give up their car keys later?

One of the most difficult things that people with aging family members often have to do is try to convince them that they should no longer drive. In a survey by the National Security Council (NSC) and, respondents indicated that talking to parents about turning over the car keys was even more difficult than discussing funeral arrangements.

It may be easier to address the issue when it's still a hypothetical situation in the future. Some people are drawing up family driving contracts with parents and other older family members.

You may have drawn up an informal contract with teen drivers in your family that lists specific rules related to their driving and the consequences if they don't abide by them. In a contract with an older family member, that person acknowledges that at some point they may pose a safety risk to themselves and others if they continue to drive. They designate a person to tell them to stop driving if and when the time comes and agree to abide by that person's wishes. The contract may be signed by multiple family members and/or friends.

These contracts, which are becoming increasingly popular, help people feel like they have some control over this very sensitive and difficult issue. Driving means independence to many people. When people who have been driving for many decades are asked to give up that independence, they may resist. A contract lets them choose a person whom they trust to be the one to ask them to do that. These contracts aren't legally binding, however.

Unfortunately, older drivers sometimes continue to drive long after their faculties and physical conditions have deteriorated to the point where it's unsafe. If you've suffered injuries in an accident caused by an older driver, it's wise to explore your legal options for seeking compensation for expenses and damages resulting from the crash.

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Marquardt & Belmonte, P.C.

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