If your grandparents have never driven the road to Hana, then itʻs best to take the normal route along the Hana Highway. Traffic will be an issue everywhere so that should not be a factor. Depending on when they leave, the "alternate route" will get them to a section where in most cases, they will have to have some skills as drivers coming the other way will not expect them, causing a good deal more stress. As the tour vehicles come around the island, they will have to back out of the way in some cases which, depending on where they meet them, will be harrowing.
To appreciate the "alternate route" you should really know what you are missing on the normal route so you have a better idea of what to expect.
The road on the backside itself is under constant repair. A minor storm can make sections of the road impassable until the county crews get out to repair it.
There are things to do while on Maui to make the day more enjoyable and if you follow them, no matter which way you go to Hana it will be better.