Dear Grandparents

A grandmother driving her car with her grandson in the front seat.

Dear Grandparents,

As a kid, you were the absolute coolest. I was never denied candy or told to do my homework at your house. It was always playtime and you were always excited to play. Having you as a grandparent was a child’s paradise.

As I became a teenager, you became cooler. You traded candy for stories of the 1950s and 1960s where you could explain your role in local and family history. You were never too tired to tell me a story or offer me advice.

It’s a little hard to tell you I’m worried about your safety behind the wheel—after all, you taught me to drive. But problems you’ve told me to look out for in other drivers, I’ve noticed you doing when you’re the one behind the wheel.

Your reaction times are slower, you’re noticing other drivers and obstacles less, and you’re distracted more easily. I’m worried about your safety and the safety of other people around you.

We could take a screening and assessment together and get an idea if you need further testing or help. CarFit could help you learn the technology in your new car. They can also recommend some inexpensive adaptations to your car (such as an enlarged review mirror) if that could help. We can also check the medications you’re taking to see if any of them are affecting your driving.

If you’d rather do this without me, you could use the Older Drivers Guide on the Clearinghouse for Older Road Users (ChORUS) to get started.

I know it can be a weird dynamic shift, but I’m almost 30. I’m not a kid anymore and I want to help you drive safer so we can spend more time together. I think it’s high time I paid you back for being the coolest grandparent around.

Your grandkids