Driving with arthritis

Steering You Right With Sharon Peters

Q: My dad has what appears to be increasingly profound arthritis and I’m worried about whether he can do what he needs to do when he’s driving. He claims he’s OK to drive and that he’s as solid behind the wheel as he ever was. I have my doubts, but I honestly don’t know how make a judgment.

A: There are lots of places arthritis strikes that can affect a driver’s safety. For example, if a person can’t grip the steering wheel tightly enough because of arthritis in the fingers, then that can be a big problem. If arthritis severely limits neck mobility, that can be an issue, or if hips are too tight and painful, maneuvering to an instant stop can be compromised.

So your concern is understandable. But perhaps the situation isn’t at a worrisome level yet. You dad’s doctor should be able to advise you about how far advanced the arthritis is, what level of functionality has been lost and what — including medications and physical therapy — can be done to lessen the risk when he’s behind the wheel.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a little brochure about driving with arthritis that might help you figure out some things and could also serve as an impetus to a discussion between you and your dad. You can find it at: http://bit.ly/drivingwitharthritis.

Q: My daughter has never been great about servicing her cars. She got a new Honda last year and I recently asked her if she’d taken it in for servicing, tune-up, etc. She said no and that she doesn’t have to do any of that until 100,000 miles. Honestly, 100,000 miles? Can that be true?

A: It is true that 100,000 miles is the interval for the car’s first scheduled tune-up. But that doesn’t mean she can drive for the next 10 years without an oil change or other service.

You may have to get really specific with her about what she doesn’t have to fool with between now and 2026, and what she needs to contend with now. Some people equate tune-ups with all aspects of servicing, and it’s possible she’s one of them.

© CTW Features

What’s your question? Sharon Peters would like to hear what’s on your mind when it comes to caring for, driving, repairing and making the most of your vehicle. Send your questions to sharon@ctwfeatures.com





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