How much longer a senior citizen can drive is one of the biggest questions facing older adults and their children. The answer, of course, varies for each individual. If you have concerns about an older loved one’s driving, ask if he or she would want to consider taking a refresher course for older adults. A refresher course will test your loved one’s driving skills while increasing both your confidence and theirs.
Additional Driving Tips
- Limit driving to daylight hours, avoid bad weather, and stay off of highways to reduce risk factors and ensure safety.
- Drivers can also incorporate safe driving practices and defensive driving, without distractions like cell phones or music. A full night of sleep previous to driving also keeps a senior alert while on the road.
- Any older adult who still drives should undergo regular hearing and vision checks to ensure a good response time on the road.
* In Pennsylvania, drivers who are 65 or older have the option to renew their license every two years instead of every four. PennDOT sometimes sends random mailing requests to older drivers, asking them to submit a medical and vision exam, but all drivers should make their health and senses are checked before driving.
- Many senior and car safety organizations offer refresher courses for older adults.
* AAA and AARP both offer safety courses in the classroom and online.
* The local DMV can also provide information on safety courses in your area.
- If your loved one is no longer able to drive, whether due to sensory impairment or issues with reflexes and memory, it is time to have an honest talk.
* Many seniors are sensitive about driver safety, so be respectful, understand the difficulty of the transition, and help find alternatives.
* Alternatives can be a friend or family member driving or public transportation.
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