My father often asks me to ride along with him to run errands on the weekend. He insists on driving but asks me to navigate for him. We’ve traveled the same routes to the same destinations every week for the last year, but he cannot remember how to get where he needs to go. I think he’s a pretty safe driver, but I’m worried that he’d get lost without me there. Should I be worried about his driving?
Based on what you describe, it sounds like your father is using a very common coping mechanism called “copiloting” to help him compensate for driving weaknesses. Typically drivers use copiloting when they need help to monitor the roadway and respond appropriately. However, if your father only drives when someone else navigates for him, it could be a sign of trouble. Encourage him to get a driving assessment from an occupational therapy driving rehabilitation specialist.