Nothing is more important than your mum’s safety and, of course, the safety of other road users or pedestrians. However, if your mum wants to continue driving, she is mentally and physically healthy and has good eyesight, there is no reason in law to stop her. You might think it is cause for concern but if she is driving familiar routes to the shops and back, and hasn’t had an accident, why are you worried?
Once a driver reaches 70 years of age, they are required by the DVLA to declare that they have no medical disability. From 70 years onwards, drivers need to renew their licence every three years (as opposed to every 10 years for younger drivers).
Being able to drive is not just a useful means of getting around, many older people are reluctant to give up their independence and self-sufficiency which their car represents. I’m sure you would feel the same.
Your mum may be so used to driving that she has never considered the alternatives, so it may be worth doing some research about her local taxi and bus service and suggesting these as a cheaper way to shop and save on car parking costs.
It may also be useful (and persuasive) to consider the costs of keeping and driving a car – insurance, servicing, maintenance and repairs, and vehicle tax as well as petrol or diesel, not to mention depreciation (loss in value) of newer vehicles. If your mum only does a very low annual mileage, the cost per mile may well work out greater than for taking a taxi each time they wish to go somewhere, let alone using other cheaper forms of transport.
If you have talked to your mum and she has decided to continue driving, but you are convinced she is putting herself or others in danger, you can report your concerns to the DVLA. You can discuss the specifics of your concerns or – as a last resort – report your loved one as an unsafe/unfit driver.