GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s Older Driver Awareness Week, a time to help promote the importance of keeping older adults active in their communities while maintaining safe transportation.

There are more than a million drivers in Michigan who are 65 and older, and that number is expected to grow. Aging impacts many aspects of driving, including vision, memory and physical function.

“We know that there’s a higher crash rate in those 65 and older, because aging affects everything,” said Dr. James Grant, the chief medical officer with Blue Cross Blue Shield.

These warning signs may indicate someone should stop driving:

  • Difficulty concentrating while driving 
  • Getting lost on familiar roads 
  • Habitually getting into minor or near accidents
  • Having trouble reading road signs 
  • Confusing the brake and the accelerator 
  • Showing a slow reaction time 

Having a conversation with a loved one about their struggles on the road isn’t easy, but it’s important not to put it off.

“Sometimes you have to have that very, very difficult conversation,” Grant said. “You need to talk to them and hear them out, and let them know that you’re there because you’re worried about them and you’re worried about others.”

There are many online resources to help, including a self-assessment page from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that helps a driver assess their vision, physical fitness and reaction time.

For the full conversation with Dr. James Grant, the chief medical officer with Blue Cross Blue Shield, watch the video in the player above.