Driving a car is an important part of personal, family and work life for millions of us, providing freedom and independence to get about as and when we need to. Driving can be enjoyable and pleasant, but it also involves a certain amount of risk, and can be stressful.
Experienced drivers are, in general, safer than those with less experience. But as we get older, our health and fitness, often including our eyesight, physical condition and reaction times, begins to decline. Age related conditions can also begin to affect our driving. Of course, this is different for each person; there isn’t an age at which we automatically become unsafe to drive.
Many drivers recognise that their driving ability is changing and so change when and where they drive (this is often called ‘self-regulation’). There are also several simple things we can do to help us continue to drive, safely, for as long as possible, such as taking regular driving assessments and refresher training.
However, there comes a time when each of us need to reduce our driving, or even stop altogether. Taking advice from your doctor, or another health professional, and from family or friends can be very helpful.
The good news is that there’s a website dedicated to the older driver and the issues he/she might face – http://www.olderdrivers.org.uk/
What information is on the website?
- Recognise whether and how your driving is changing
- Decide what you can do to cope with these changes and find help, such as medical advice, driving assessments and training and vehicle adaptations
- Find a driving assessment or refresher training for your needs
- Understand your legal obligations, such as DVLA rules and procedures
- Plan for the need to change when and where you drive, and if it becomes necessary, to retire from driving.