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Driving safety

photo of the front seat of a green car with an elderly woman driving and a female passenger

As Americans, we love our cars. They give us freedom and independence. But for most of us, a time comes when we should no longer drive. Age-related changes to our vision, hearing, reflexes, and strength affect how we drive. Also, driving conditions have changed since the time that many older adults learned to drive. Today's crowded roadways and high-speed, multi-lane highways can be hard and risky to navigate. What's more, distracted drivers of any age put others at risk. At some point, continuing to drive may put yourself and others in harm's way.

Taking a driver's refresher course can help to keep your driving skills sharp and may even keep you on the road longer. Plus, some insurance companies give discounts for taking a driver's refresher course.

When is it time to limit driving or get off the road for good? Here are a few warning signs:

  • You feel uncomfortable and nervous when you drive.
  • You have dents and scrapes on the car from multiple run-ins with telephone poles, mailboxes, curbs, and other objects.
  • You have trouble staying in your lane.
  • Other drivers honk at you constantly.
  • Cars and pedestrians seem to appear out of nowhere.
  • You have an increased pattern of accidents or "near-misses."
  • You frequently get lost — even in a familiar area.

Visit AARP's Driver Safety Program to learn more about driving safety.

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Content last updated: July 16, 2012.

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