Updated: 08/07/2013 8:22 PM
Created: 08/07/2013 5:16 PM KSTP.com
By: Beth McDonough
There are nearly 700,000 drivers in Minnesota age 65 and older.
They're involved in one out of every five deadly wrecks in the state.
Which raises the sensitive question: how old is too old to keep driving in Minnesota?
It's a tough conversation for anyone to have with an aging parent, especially Marion Slocum,
"It was horrible, it was horrible, it was really sad because he's my father and I have all kinds of respect for him and yet, he shouldn't be driving," she said.
Her dad, 91-year-old Chuck Slocum, admits he was bitter when his driving days were over, "My kids have been telling me for 10 years that I should quit driving and I'd tell them go to hell."
While Slocum hasn't been in an accident, there have been close calls. The Department of Public Safety reports more than 20,000 wrecks involving older drivers last year. Troopers point out drivers become impaired because vision, attention, hearing, reaction time and overall health decline.
That's why the AARP offers a driver's education class for grown-ups. It's to help folks sharpen their skills or decide if it's time to retire from driving altogether.
Barb Fici, an AARP driving instructor, discusses some of the warning signs it might not be safe to drive anymore. These include if other drivers are honking often, parents are getting lost easily, or if there are unexplained scrapes or dents on their car. And finally, if they seem to be driving less, especially at night.
Slocum worried losing his keys, also meant losing his freedom, "It makes it very difficult in our society because everybody lives in their car."
He gets rides from relatives now. His daughter believes it's in everyone's best interest, "For the pedestrians on the street, the other drivers out there, it's just not safe."