Press "Enter" to skip to content

Driver Safety Tips for the Elderly

Simple Tips to Help Keep Older Drivers Safe on the Road

As the seasons begin to change, drivers face different challenges than they did during the warm spring and summer months. Although every driver needs to adjust to changes in the weather, older drivers tend to face more challenges when it starts to get cold, rainy and even snowy outside. It is possible for elderly individuals to still be great drivers, even in the later years of their lives, but it may still be important to have a conversation about additional safety measures they can be taking.

Make Sure Elderly Drivers are Comfortable in their Vehicle

As we age, it becomes harder for us to move around like we once did. Because of this, some elderly drivers may have a harder time operating a vehicle. Make sure to stress that being comfortable behind the wheel is key to being safe while driving. Drivers should be able to get in and out of their car with ease, be able to control the wheel without extra effort and be able to touch and operate pedals and other operation and safety devices easily. Also, make sure elderly drivers have clear visibility when driving and ensure they wear corrective lenses when needed to see clearly when driving.

Stay Focused and Allow for Slower Reaction Times

Just like our bodies begin to slow down with age, so do our brains. This can have a profound effect on reaction times when behind the wheel. Slower reaction times could me breaking for someone cutting you off could quickly turn into a serious accident. Stress to elderly drivers the importance of leaving enough space between their vehicle and another and paying close attention to what is going on around them. This also leads into staying focused behind the wheel – make sure elderly individuals are aware of what medications can affect their motor skills and make sure they do not take anything before driving.

Elderly Driver Should Study Unfamiliar Routes before Driving

Today’s modern technology has made it very easy for us to travel to places we are unfamiliar with – GPS devices as well as navigation apps on smartphones make it simple to get to where we need to go. Truth be told, not many elderly individuals have smartphones, know how to work them or really care to learn. Because of this, it is important to make sure that these individuals have good directions to where they need to travel and study and understand unfamiliar routes before they begin a trip. Looking at or reading driving directions behind the wheel is very dangerous and can lead to unnecessary accidents.

Training Wheels is a Margate driving school specializing in driving instruction for all ages. While most of our clients are teens getting their license for the first time, we also work with elderly drivers who need to take their driving test again. For more information about Training Wheel, please click here.

*Photo Courtesy of Terminals & Gates via Creative Commons License