Safe Driving For Older Drivers

Tips For Seniors To Drive Safely

Safe driving practices are always great but, things get more important as we grow older. Seniors can experience slowed reflexes, momentary lapse of concentration, fatigue and some eye and sight related problems. To put it in simple terms, seniors should generally drive when conditions are good for driving. It is quite obvious that ideal driving conditions might not always be available, here are some effective ways to make your driving as safe as possible.


The Road:

-       Always keep looking for pedestrians, other vehicles and cyclists.

-       Focus on your driving and do not be rushed by other drivers.

-       Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.

-       When driving lower than the speed limit, move to the right lanes.

-       Don’t make a turn without showing a clear signal.

-       Keep eyes active by looking shoulder to shoulder.

In The Car:

-       Don’t get into conversations that can distract your driving.

-       Turn down the radio, don’t talk or text chat on the phone.

-       Try not to eat while driving, pull over and have a bite if you wish.

-       Smoking can cause heavy breathing and reduce glass visibility.

-       Keep your seat belt on even, for short distance drives.

-       Adjust seats and mirrors for best comfort and convenience.

Car Condition:

-       Clean all glasses both inside and outside, do this regularly.

-       Headlights and taillights can get dirty and dusty, clean them.

-       Wiper blades if not cleaned, can cause streak marks on the glass.

-       Do a monthly check on tire pressure, recheck before a long drive.

-       The gas station can check that oil and coolant levels are in order.


More Essentials:

Fitness And Rest: Keep to a regular exercise plan, this helps increase strength and stamina. Exercises like bending and stretching also add flexibility to your body. If you for any reason feel that, you are not perfectly fit to drive, stay away from the steering wheel. When driving, take a break every 90-100 minutes, walk out of the car, have a soft drink or some plain water, get a bite if you happen to be hungry. Swing your arms and twist your torso, these movements help increase flexibility and relieve stress and monotony. Stopping once in a while will also allow you to reconfirm routes and check traffic scenarios.

At The Doctor: While eye sight problems can crop up at any age, they take an added importance when you plan to drive. Check your eyesight regularly, make necessary corrections to your eye glasses if required. Make sure that your glasses are always clean, carry a set of cleaning tissues to do the cleanup. It is a good idea to wear tinted glasses when driving in the sun, you could possibly combine these into your eye glasses. If you wear contact lenses, consider situations where the glasses could drop off, heavy wind and even a face wash in the basin can cause this to happen. Some medications can cause drowsiness or temporary dizziness, check this out with your doctor.

Do Not Drive: While it is true that you know best when to stay off the wheel, there are some situations where it is best to avoid driving. Seniors are more prone to go through bouts of depression and anxiety, recognize the symptoms and drive when you feel much better. Unsuitable light conditions, heavy snow and wet roads, might make driving hazardous and stressful. Driving when drunk or when feeling drowsy, can endanger yourself and other road users. You should not be at the wheel after taking medications that can cause a lapse in concentration, this includes medicines that make you feel tired or light headed.


There could be times when you need to travel under less than ideal conditions, try to get a friend or relative to drive you to your destination. If the trip is not truly agent, put it off for another day. Older drivers should focus on being defensive and cautious, avoid risks as far as possible. Carry a clearly visible note stating any specific medical conditions that others should know about, any unfortunate incident happen. The contact details of your family doctor can be very useful should the need arise. If you happen to be driving alone on a long trip, keep in touch with your family or close friends at each stop over. Make sure that they are made away of any significant changes in time schedules and travel routes.