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.
Should 80 year olds be driving?
An 80-year-old in perfect health may be able to drive safely without endangering himself 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.
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.
What percentage of elderly people drive?
The percentage of people aged 70 and up who have a driver’s license has increased from 73 percent in 1997 to 83 percent in 2019. The population of people aged 70 and up is expected to grow to 53 million in 2030, according to the United States Census Bureau (US Census Bureau, 2017).
Why older adults should drive?
You may be able to continue driving safely well into your senior years by reducing risk factors and incorporating safe driving practices; however, older adults are more likely to receive traffic citations and be involved in accidents than younger drivers.
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.
At what age do people give up driving?
It may surprise some people to learn that there is no mandatory age to stop driving; however, you must renew your driver’s license at the age of 70 and every three years thereafter; if you do not renew your license, you will not be legally allowed to drive after your 70th birthday.
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.
How do you know when an elderly person should stop driving?
Here are a few examples of unsafe driving warning signs:
- Having difficulty moving into or maintaining the correct lane of traffic.
- Hitting curbs when making right turns or backing up.
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 is the most common bacterial infection in elderly?
Bacterial pneumonia is one of the most common infections among seniors, as well as one of the most dangerous, especially if left untreated; according to the AFP, more than 60% of people over the age of 65 end up in the hospital due to pneumonia.
Can the elderly drive?
For starters, the California DMV requires elderly drivers aged 70 and up to submit to more frequent driving tests than the general public, and the state’s process for suspending the licenses of people with physical or mental conditions results in many elderly drivers losing their license.
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.
Why elderly drivers should not be tested?
Changes in vision, hearing, and reflexes, as well as side effects of medications and issues related to cognitive decline, all contribute to making someone a more dangerous driver.