How Aging Affects Driving

There is no magical age at which everyone should stop driving. However, “fatal crash rates rise sharply after a driver has reached the age of 70.” There are a number of factors that contribute to this.

Aging tends to result in a reduction of strength, coordination, and flexibility, which can have a major impact on your ability to safely control a car. For example:*

  • Pain or stiffness in your neck can make it harder to look over your shoulder to change lanes or look left and right at intersections to check for other traffic or pedestrians.
  • Leg pain can make it difficult to move your foot from the gas to the brake pedal.
  • Diminished arm strength can make it hard to turn the steering wheel quickly and effectively.
  • As reaction times also slow down with age, you may be slower to spot vehicles emerging from side streets and driveways, or to realize that the vehicle ahead of you has slowed or stopped.
  • Keeping track of so many road signs, signals, and markings, as well as all the other traffic and pedestrians, can also become more difficult as you lose the ability to effectively divide your attention between multiple activities.

In order for you and your loved ones to stay safe drivers well into old age, make sure to stay on top of your health and never be afraid to ask for a little help.

*Information from HelpGuide.org