Sheila, at the age of 78, wonders how she can stay safe behind the wheel as her health changes. Don’t put yourself or others in danger; talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about your health and driving.
Stiff Joints and Muscles
Your joints may stiffen and your muscles may weaken as you age, and arthritis, which is common among older adults, may impair your ability to drive. If pain, stiffness, or arthritis are interfering with your driving, see your doctor.
Outside of your direct line of sight, it may be more difficult to see people, things, and movement; glare from oncoming headlights or street lights can be a problem; and eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration can all cause vision problems.
Hearing loss can be a problem as you get older, so have your hearing checked at least every three years after you turn 50. Try to keep the interior of the car as quiet as possible while driving, as people with dementia often don’t realize they’re having difficulty driving.
Slower Reaction Time and Reflexes
When you get older, your reflexes slow down and you don’t react as quickly. Parkinson’s disease or limitations caused by a stroke can make driving unsafe. Safe driving tips: Leave more space between you and the car in front of you. Brake early when you need to stop.
Medications Can Affect Driving
Many medications have side effects that can make driving dangerous, so keep track of all of your medications and talk to your doctor about how they may affect your driving. Read medicine labels carefully for any warnings about driving after taking them.
Be a Safe Driver
Some older drivers have difficulty driving at night, on the highway, or in bad weather. Have your driving skills evaluated by a driving rehabilitation specialist, and ask your doctor if any of your health problems make it unsafe to drive. Together, you can devise a plan to keep you on the road.
Do You Have Concerns About an Older Driver?
It can be difficult for an elderly person to recognize that he or she is no longer a safe driver. If you are concerned about a loved one’s safety on the road, read and share this infographic for tips.
Is It Time to Give Up Driving?
To help you decide, consider the following questions: Do other drivers frequently honk at me? Have I had any accidents, even if they were only “fender benders?” If you answered “yes,” it may be time to speak with your doctor about driving.
How Will You Get Around?
Many people worry that if they stop driving, they won’t be able to get around, but there are other options. Some areas offer free or low-cost bus or taxi services for seniors, and religious and civic groups occasionally have volunteers who will drive you where you want to go.
What percentage of 80 year olds still drive?
As expected, the prevalence of driving decreased sharply with age, from 88% of men in their early 70s to 55% of those aged 85 or older, while the prevalence of driving among women ranged from 70% of those aged 70 to 74 to 22% of those aged 85 or older.
At what age do most seniors stop driving?
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, fatal crashes per mile traveled begin to rise around the age of 70 and peak around the age of 85.
How many drivers are over 70?
There are over 4 million drivers over the age of 70 in the United States.
Do old people cause car crashes?
However, the risk of being injured or killed in a traffic accident increases with age, with older drivers, particularly those aged 75, having higher crash death rates than middle-aged drivers (aged 35-54).sup>3/sup> This is primarily due to increased vulnerability to injury in a crash.
What age group is the safest drivers?
Drivers aged 16-17 continue to have the highest rates of crash involvement, injuries to themselves and others, and deaths of others in crashes in which they are involved, while drivers aged 80 and older have the highest rates of driver deaths, with drivers aged 60-69 being the safest by most measures examined.
Should 80 year olds drive?
An 80-year-old in perfect health may be able to drive safely without endangering themselves or other road users, whereas a 60-year-old with impaired vision and a medical condition that affects their motor skills may need to stop driving.
At what age are you considered elderly?
According to the Social Security Administration, 9 out of 10 people over the age of 65 are eligible for Social Security benefits, and 65 is the legal age at which U.S. citizens are considered seniors.
Do you have to retake your driving test at 80?
No, but drivers must reapply for their license at the age of 70 and every three years after that; there is no need to take a test, but applicants must declare that they are fit and healthy to drive and that their eyesight meets the minimum requirements for driving via self-assessment.
How often do you renew driving Licence after 80?
Your driver’s license expires when you reach the age of 70, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop driving; you simply need to renew it every three years after that. Renewal is free.
Is driving safe for elderly?
Older drivers are more likely than younger drivers to be involved in car accidents, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Driving helps older adults stay mobile and independent, but the risk of being injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash increases as people age.
What happens if elderly person has no one to care for them?
If a person is no longer capable of making decisions for themselves and hasn’t named someone to act as their guardian, the court appoints a conservator to act as their guardian u2014 usually someone they don’t know u2014 and make their health care and financial decisions for them.
Should 70 year olds drive?
Apart from drivers aged 25 and younger, people aged 70 and older are more likely to crash, and because older drivers are more fragile, they are more likely to be injured or killed in these crashes. There is no set age at which everyone should stop driving.
Should a 90 year old be driving?
The oldest old adults (90-97 years old) were no more at risk of driving than the younger old adults (80-87 years old) cohort, and they made similar types and frequency of driving errors. Conclusion: Drivers aged 90 and up were no more at risk of driving than those a decade younger.
Can a 90 year old drive?
Individual states, however, have their own laws and licensing requirements for older adults, such as California, which allows automatic two-year license renewals until the age of 70, after which renewals must be done in person with a written test and an eye exam.