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Older Drivers Staying Safe on the Road

You’re never too old to improve your driving

These days we are all living longer which means the number of drivers above the age of 70 is set to increase. As we become older the effects ofcourses for older drivers in nottingham ageing can mean that our driving is not up to a reasonably safe standard. It’s important that older drivers have their driving checked and their skills updated to remain on the road.

Driving is a great source of freedom and independence for us all, especially older people who may have difficulty using public transport, cycling or walking long distances to shops and making other essential journeys.

First thing to consider is the car being driven. As older people tend to drive less miles the car may have been used for a number of years so needs to be checked to make sure it is properly maintained. As we become physically weaker a newer and lighter handling car may be more appropriate. A stiff handbrake lever or gear stick as well as lack of power assisted steering can effect safe handling of the vehicle.

Eyesight is an important factor. It must reach the legal standard of being able to read a standard number plate at 20m. As we age vision night vision can suffer making driving after dark a problem. The eyes lose the ability to refocus quickly when looking at dashboard instruments and the back at the road. This strain on the eyes can lead to fatigue and loss of concentration. If the driver is taking prescription medicines then the this problem can be made worse.

Assessments for older drivers.

It’s important that older drivers have the support of their families when making decisions about their driving. Assessments by a qualified driving instructor are a good idea. An objective view of driving ability can help older drivers to find a way forward. There are many possibilities to explore before deciding to give up a licence entirely.  An older person could restrict themselves to daylight driving on familiar roads avoiding peak traffic times. This would reduce risk considerably. Perhaps a smaller car that is easier to handle especially when it comes to parking and other close manoeuvres would prove more manageable. If an older person finds physical movement limited a couple of extra mirrors fixed to the windscreen may solve the problem.

An assessment can also be a tremendous learning experience for an older driver. They probably passed their test many years ago and have had no further training since. A few lessons followed by a second assessment may show that driving has improved enough to now be considered safe. Topping up this training every few years for the over 70s would increase their level of safety and provide peace of mind for their loved ones.

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