Stiff Joints and Muscles. As you age, your joints may get stiff, and your muscles may weaken. Arthritis, which is common among older adults, might affect your ability to drive. These changes can make it harder to turn your head to look back, turn the steering wheel quickly, or brake safely.4
Hearing loss: they may not be able to hear a car horn or siren. Mobility problems or pain: they may have difficulty or be slower pulling the handbrake, using the footbrake or moving their heads to check their side vision. Memory problems: they may get lost, confused or disorientated if they are in an unfamiliar area.
Yet, getting older can make driving riskier. Normal changes that come with aging like reduced vision, trouble hearing, and stiff joints and muscles can all affect your ability to drive safely, according to the National Institute on Aging.
However, older adults are more likely to receive traffic citations and get into accidents than younger drivers. What causes this increase? As we age, factors such as decreased vision, impaired hearing, slower motor reflexes, and worsening health conditions can become a problem.
In New South Wales drivers from the age of 75 must have an annual medical assessment to retain their licence. From the age of 85, they must pass a practical driving test every second year to keep an unrestricted licence in addition to their annual medical assessment.
People age 70 and older are more likely to crash than any other age group besides drivers age 25 and younger. And because older drivers are more fragile, they are more likely to get hurt or die from these crashes. There’s no set age when everyone should stop driving.
Many older drivers will leave a larger gap to the vehicle in front and will drive slower. Elderly drivers also could suffer from worse eyesight. While their eyes may be able to focus, as we age, their ability to rapidly adjust from light to dark is reduced. This makes driving into a tunnel harder for older drivers.
In New South Wales, drivers from the age of 75 must start annual medical assessments to retain a licence. When you reach 85, in addition to the annual medical examination, you must pass a practical driving test every second year to keep your unrestricted drivers licence.
Older drivers are actually safer drivers For Dottie Crump, 98, the story of the hydrant hitter felt close to home. While California doesn’t require older drivers to retake the behind-the-wheel test, it does require drivers age 70 and older who are renewing their licenses to take a knowledge and vision test.
Results: Results indicate that the oldest old adults (90-97 years old) were at no greater driving risk than were a younger old (80-87 years old) cohort and made similar types and frequency of driving errors. Conclusion: Drivers age 90 and above were at no greater driving risk than those one decade younger.
In general, older adults engage in safer driving behaviors than other age groups, including more often wearing seat belts, driving when conditions are safest, and not drinking and driving. Seat belt use is one of the most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes.
Overall, the RAND study concluded that “younger drivers pose a much greater risk to traffic safety than do older drivers, both because they are likelier to cause a crash and because they drive many more miles.” The study also found that older drivers (who represent 15% of all licensed drivers) cause just 7% of all two-
But there is a whole underlayer of health risks of driving that many of us don’t think about at all. These risks include things such as air pollution, noise pollution, as well as increases in anxiety, stress, and blood pressure levels, and chronic lower back and/or knee pain.
Being able to see well is essential to safe driving. If your parent has a vision problem like macular degeneration or glaucoma, they definitely won’t be safe behind the wheel no matter what they say. Other issues could also interfere with their ability to see.
How Much Sex Are They Really Having? Older adults are having more sex than you might think. Of all the sexually active older adults in the Swedish study, 25 percent reported having sex at least once a week in the group surveyed in 2000 to 2001, compared with 10 percent in the 1970s.
There’s no legal age at which you must stop driving. You can decide when to stop as long as you don’t have any medical conditions that affect your driving. Find out how changes to your health can affect your driving and how to give up your licence, if needed.