Parkinson's Movement
12,735 members11,316 posts


For the last few years, well before my diagnosis in 2015, I have been gradually limiting my driving. First it was freeways where I would have to make multiple lane changes or take an exit that was also an entrance(hate those). Then it was night driving, so while still working full time, was able to shift my hours to leave and be most of the way home before dark. Needless to say, snow and ice put me into a panic but I was able to work from home. Later, I avoided parking spots where I would have to back out without much room or where there were pedestrians. I got a backup camera and special mirrors, and since retiring nine months ago, have limited myself to very local destinations. My partner drives us everywhere else or I shop online. I am totally independent at this point although slow and get tired in the afternoons.

Still, I dread the the thought of having to give up driving altogether. I have noticed, however, that my female contemporaries, around 70, who do not have PD are also limiting their driving in similar fashion. Can anyone provide their experiences or that of others? How long after diagnosis can one safely drive?

7 Replies

There is no way to tell when or how long after diagnosis you need to stop driving. It is totally random to the individual, some people never have to give it up, some very early on after diagnosis.

I have diabetes along with several other things and I stopped driving altogether a year ago though I still have my license for emergencies. My husband with PD stopped about the same time, he has macular degeneration and gets shots in his eyes but still can't see all that well. He was diagnosed in 2012 but had it longer.


Hi Arwenmark,

It must be difficult to get places. Do you have paratransit or some sort of public transportation in your area or family who can help? We are about a 25 minute walk from shopping and a ten minute walk to the train but would miss the freedom to drive elsewhere.


One of my son's and his family live with us and they drive our cars. also most everything is within walking distance if really necessary.


Regarding Driving.

I was diagnosed in 2013..... Wow time flies when you're enjoying yourself.

My Parkinsons nurse on my very first visit to her told me I would have to report my condition to the D V L A in charge of licences.

They withdrew my licence immediately which I had owned since 1968 when I was Seventeen...Love and peace and insurance at £35.00 for the year.

Enough is enough. Nearly fifty years of buying petrol.

But seriously just think about the silly little harmless mistakes that you make in the home .

My favourite is making tea without teabags ending up with milky water. Ha ha .

Also ,not reacting to people and incidents.

So ask yourself do you have these "senior" moments ...Parkinsons or not..

We have enough problems with PD without causing havoc on the roads.

Give in gracefully.

There's nothing wrong with being a passenger.

Less stressful in fact.

Happy Days MH-1


I agree, the first consideration must be safety of other road users. You would feel awful,if you killed someone.

The money you no longer spend to run, tax and insure a car should be enough to pay for a taxi ride when you need it.


Evinced by your concern over the possibilities, you are a thoughtful good person that has a care for others on the roads. One of the signs it would be time to stop driving is frequently bumping into something with the right rear bumper when reversing out of a parking spot. Another would be repeated episodes of forgetfulness manifesting as things like locking the door with the keys still in the ignition. Be well and helpful.

1 like

I was forced to give up driving at age 72 after I was falsely accused of doing some terrible things while behind the wheel. The judge later threw-out all of these charges as being base-less, but the principle-lacking Commonwealth of Massachusetts CANCELLED my license without so much as a hearing. (Reminded me of the Salem witch trials -- evidently Massachusetts is a slow learner or has a rather unorthodox concept of justice). Just between us human peoples, I was ready to give-up my driver's license, becuse gas was then selling at circa $4.25 here in the states and my Ataxia and poor vision compromised (in my own mind) my driving ability (I'm now 79 as well, and my health is now classified as frail.)

On the downside. I live alone in a suburban home remote from everything except the wildlife (which I treat as my pets). Absolutely nothing is withing walking distance and we have no local tax company. So, each trip to the doctor's office or even the super-market costs $50 for the round trip. My 3 children are now grown, married, and live some distance away, so I operate pretty much on my own.

So my advice to you is, unless you're very wealthy, don't give up driving until you absolutely must, and make arrangements for alternative transportation befor you do.

1 like

You may also like...