Driving is hard to give up, especially for those of us who live several miles from a town, but when I scared myself I realized I had to stop. I was an airline pilot for 27 years, a Capt for about half of that time. I've dealt with many emergency situation but one day a few months ago I knew I had to limit my driving to as little as possible.
I was driving home from about an hour away, maybe 40 minutes from home and in the oncoming lane I saw a car that was about to turn and cross my lane was about to be rear ended very hard. The car coming was oblivious to their being stopped and waiting to turn. I saw it coming, I had the cruise control on, and I froze, I didn't do anything to avoid it. All of a sudden it was happening in slow motion and I was watching from somewhere else, then right next to me BANG. Just as I got there they hit, I still had the cruise control on. Finally I hit the brakes, I spun out across the lane and into the ditch. Had someone been coming I would have hit them. When I hit the brakes I just stopped moving, I couldn't respond. I just shook when I stopped in the ditch. Like I said I spent my life trained to handle much larger emergencies and I froze.
I could say it's a fluke, maybe the meds, whatever but I know that something in my brain just shut down. The person I was, was no longer at the wheel. We live 6 miles out of town, my limit is about 7 and only if I really have to. It takes every bit of my concentration to do that, and I still find myself drifting away from the task at hand. I know we are all different with this, but after I had to quit flying before we knew what was really going on I drove truck over the road ( worst job I ever had) I made myself a promise that I would never cause anyone to put one of those little white crosses by the side of the road. When I spun across that lane of traffic I realized that I could do that because of PD. I hate being tied to the house so much, but whether it's meds, or PD, or both the risk is getting to high. The other thing is now when it sit down for a few minutes I can't hardly stay awake, that includes behind the wheel. My wife now also tries to make sure I don't drive, she does every errand she can and I know how much it increases her work load.
I'm 61 and went from flying a 4 engine passenger jet to very uncomfortable driving since 2006. I was dx 2 years ago. It's hard but the consequences could be harder. When the time comes that you or a loved on realizes you can't drive it's time to quit. My wife did see it coming well before I did, she completely wore out the imaginary brake peddle on here side of the car..