While many of us may someday have to quit driving due to safety concerns brought on by age, driving may become especially difficult for an older person if the normal aging process is exacerbated by a disease, such as Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, or glaucoma.
Older drivers, along with their family members and friends, should be aware of the potential challenges of driving and should design a strategy accordingly. Learn more about our safe driving tips and strategies for older drivers and take our self-test to determine if you are a safe driver.
Tips for Safe Driving
To compensate for the effects of normal aging on driving ability, older drivers should consider doing the following:
- Drive primarily on streets that are familiar.
- Limit trips to places that are easy to get to and close to home.
- Take routes that avoid risky spots, such as freeway ramps and left turns.
- Don’t drive at night or in bad weather.
Self-Test for Drivers
Older drivers should frequently monitor driving behavior and look for warning signs of problems. To help determine whether you are a safe driver, check to see if any of the questions below apply to you.
- Sometimes get lost while driving?
- Have trouble seeing signs in time to respond to them?
- Have trouble pushing down the gas pedal or brake?
- Find it hard to look over your shoulder when you back up?
- Get dizzy or drowsy after taking your medications?
- Get nervous driving in traffic or on unfamiliar roads?
If you answered, “yes” to any of the questions, talk to your doctor about whether any of your driving problems may be health related. If so, a doctor might change your medication so you have fewer or no side effects. If you have a vision disorder, then surgery, new glasses, or a different medication may solve the problem.
Driver Safety Courses
Older people may also consider taking a driver safety class designed to refresh their driving knowledge and to help them learn how to compensate for age-related changes.
Website includes directory of AARP Driver Safety education classes and other information.
Driver Safety Program
American Automobile Association
Contact your local AAA club to find a class near you.
Driving School Association of the Americas, Inc.
Website includes a directory of driving school by state and locality.
This content was last updated on: May 23, 2017