How might age affect safe driving?

Age alone does not determine a person’s ability to remain a safe driver. Many older adults continue to be safe drivers and make decisions to avoid driving situations in which they feel less confident. However, as you age, changes in your abilities  make some activities more difficult. It is important to recognize changes that can affect your ability to drive safely.

 

Vision

You may begin to notice glare and find it more difficult to see in the dark, scan the environment, or see things in your peripheral vision.

Physical

You may feel weaker, stiff, experience pain or move more slowly.

Cognition

You may have more difficulty remembering things, making decisions or doing activities when there are distractions.

Reaction Time

You may find it more difficult to react quickly in different situations.

 

Warning signs of unsafe driving

  • You lose your way.
  • You have less confidence in your driving skills.
  • You notice other drivers honk at you.
  • You miss stop signs or traffic lights.
  • You mix up gas and brake pedals.
  • You have problems with lane changes or merging.
  • You have minor accidents or traffic tickets.
  • Your passenger needs to help you.
  • Family and friends refuse to get in the car with you.

If these warning signs reflect your situation, maybe it is time to make some changes to your driving strategies or have your driving evaluated.