seniors driving in carFor many aging adults, giving up driving means a loss of freedom and independence. This is why so many seniors keep driving well into their later years, even when certain physical and cognitive changes can make hitting the open road not only challenging, but dangerous to themselves and others.

However, the Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that drivers over the age of 55 are generally more courteous, safer drivers who obey speed limits and the rules of the road. They are also less likely to drive in bad weather conditions or late at night, when driving can be especially hazardous, and they tend to trade highway driving for safer back roads.

Seniors Driving: Staying Safe Behind the Wheel with a Senior Evaluation

According to the CDC, in 2017 there were 44 million licensed drivers ages 65 and older, an increase of 63% since 1999. The CDC also reports that drivers over the age of 75 have higher crash rates than middle-aged drivers aged 35-54. As we age, we face physical changes like deteriorating eyesight and diminished hearing, plus slower reaction times. These factors can play a large role in our ability to stay safe when we get behind the wheel.

AAA recommends seniors consider getting a professional driving assessment completed regularly. Why? The most basic reason is safety. These evaluations can help older adults recognize where they may be experiencing difficulties that could make driving dangerous as the days go by.

If you are curious as to whether a driving evaluation is worth your time, here are a few things to consider:

  • You notice lately you haven’t felt very confident behind the wheel and have been feeling more anxious about driving at night.
  • You were recently diagnosed with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, impaired vision, early stage dementia, have a sleep disorder or recently suffered a stroke, all which could impact driving abilities.
  • You’re taking daily medications that make you drowsy or affect your reaction time.
  • You were in an accident, a near-miss accident or a minor crash like a fender bender recently.
  • You’ve gotten traffic tickets or warnings after going ticket-free for years.
  • Friends or family members are starting to suggest you seek other forms of transportation, or offer to drive you to appointments and errands.

A senior driving evaluation or assessment will help you understand the impact any of the above factors could have on your ability to safely drive a vehicle. These evaluations can also help you determine your current skill levels and note areas you may need to improve by taking a driver improvement course, such as AAA’s Roadwise Driver™ program.

Senior Evaluations from DriveTeam

DriveTeam is pleased to offer Senior Evaluations with a course fee discount available for couples. This three-phase evaluation will help determine cognitive skills, vehicle dynamic skills and on-street performance to help ensure older adults are confident, safe drivers. Contact us for more information.