• As the population continues to age, more and more seniors will be sharing
the roads with everyone else. And while most seniors are perfectly capable
drivers, it is true that reaction time, coordination and other elements tend to
diminish with age.
• Some seniors worry about causing an accident, but there are some safe
driving tips that can help senior drivers arrive safely and feel comfortable
behind the wheel.
Make a Plan
• Driving as a senior doesn’t mean you should stay out of the car, it just
means you should a little more thoroughly before you venture out. Take the
time to plan your route, stay away from inclement weather and drive during
the daylight hours whenever possible.
• Try to avoid peak traffic hours and stick to roads you’re familiar with, when
it’s possible. If you’re on medications that cause drowsiness, don’t take
them before you plan to get in the car. Well-planned trips will reduce the
probability of accidents and will help keep your auto insurance rates on the
Check Vision & Hearing Regularly
• Vision and hearing are two senses that diminish with age, and are also
important to safe driving. Vision problems like macular degeneration,
cataracts and glaucoma can make night driving difficult, if not impossible.
Stick to a regular testing schedule so you can catch any problems at the
Keep Up with Chronic Conditions
• It’s important to manage any chronic health conditions at any age, but it’s
even more important for seniors. Conditions like diabetes, epilepsy, or other
conditions that affect driver safety must be under control.
• Follow any instructions that your doctor lays down for you, or you may find
yourself worrying about more than just renewing your auto insurance.
Move Your Body
• If you make the effort to stay active into your senior years, your strength and
flexibility will remain intact. Simple actions like turning the wheel, looking
over your shoulder or quickly applying the brakes will be easier, and the
safety of your driving will improve.
• Try to walk whenever possible, play a leisurely sport or join an exercise
class. Anything that keeps your body moving and works both your upper
and lower body will help.
Update Your Driving Skills
• If you find that your skills may have diminished over the years, think about
taking a refresher course that’s designed for older drivers. Depending on
where you live, you may be required to renew your driver’s license at regular
intervals once you reach a certain age. In Ontario, the age is 80, and the
interval is every two years.
• Keep in mind that driving yourself around isn’t the only way to get around. If
you follow the tips listed above, your time on the road will be a lot safer, but
you do have alternatives.
• If you’re having trouble driving yourself, look into volunteer driver programs,
carpooling, public transit, taxis or family members. If you keep safety on the
top of your mind every step of the way, your auto insurance premiums will
stay low and you’ll always know whether to drive or not.