As our nation's population continues to age we will find more and more older drivers on the roadway. Many of these drivers are some of the best on the highway. Others have lost the ability to maintain safe control of an automobile and therefore have become a danger to themselves and others. According to the American Automobile Association the decision to take the keys from an older drivers hands has more of an effect on them than just limiting their mobility.

In a new report published by the Triple-A findings indicate there is  a connection between taking the keys from an older driver and depression and the need for long term care. The study showed that individuals who no longer had the freedom to driver were twice as likely to develop signs of depression and five times more likely to require long term care.

Donald Redman is a spokesman for Triple-A and he told the Louisiana Radio Network,

I think that has really been part of of the American psyche for generations, where we equate our vehicles or being able to transport ourselves around the community, as our freedom.

Redman suggested that taking the keys away from an older driver has effects that go beyond their ability to operate a motor vehicle. Many older drivers find themselves isolated and that leads to less social interaction. This interaction is part of what many experts believe helps to keep the mind sharp.

Be more vigilant, more involved in their lives to make sure that you're keeping them involved with different activities and maybe there are some outside activities through senior centers and that kind of things.

Resources for this study were made possible by the American Automobile Association in conjunction with Columbia University.