Tuesday, 6 September 2011

When are you too old to drive?

As an elderly, independent individual, it is often difficult to know when you are too old to drive. Legally speaking, there is no specific age when you have to turn in your license and stop driving. In some respects, you have to be self-regulating in this regard. If you are noticing yourself having a harder and harder time operating your vehicle in a safe manner, you may want to consider hanging up the keys.

At the Insurance Experts blog, we've compiled a list of some of the major warning signs you should look out for as an elderly driver. You must always remember that there is nothing wrong with deciding not to drive; you can still be an independent, productive member of society without your vehicle!
  • Trouble turning. If you are having difficult moving your body around to check your blind spots, you should consider stretches or exercises that help you improve your range of motion. Otherwise, without being able to see your blind spot, you will be a danger to others around you. 
  • Land drifting. Many older drivers find themselves drifting into other lanes without even noticing. This is dangerous, especially if you drifted into oncoming traffic! If you're finding that this happens on a regular basis, you owe it to yourself and other drivers to stop driving. 
  • Getting lost. As you grow older, you may find it more difficult to remember how to get to a destination. If you're finding yourself getting lost frequently, you may find it's not worth the time to drive. Get the grandkids to give you a lift from time to time when you need it! 
  • Difficulty concentrating. If you're finding it difficult to stay focused on driving and are easily distracted or confused by your surroundings, it may be a sign that you're no longer capable of driving. Again, there is certainly nothing wrong with accepting this; you are no less intelligent or independent for not driving! 
Statistics show that drivers between the ages of 55 and 70 are the safest on the road. Older drivers are more defensive and responsible than their younger counterparts, and deserve to be respected for that. However, after the age of 75, rates of collisions for elderly drivers begin to align with young beginner drivers. 

As an elderly individual, you may feel that giving up your driving privileges is an admission of weakness. In fact, it's quite the contrary: to continue driving when you know you're no longer able would be weakness. To humbly accept that your driving could put others at risk takes remarkable strength of character.