Driving tips

All of the following are methods that can help any driver drive safely, and they are especially important to help older drivers continue to drive safely

  • always wear your seat-belt
  • continuously move your eyes and observe all traffic
  • look for vehicles that enter the highway from curbs, driveways and businesses
  • be alert for parked cars, pedestrians and cyclists
  • frequently check both your inside and outside rearview mirrors
  • check for traffic behind you - turn your head and neck and look over your shoulder before you turn or change traffic lanes
  • do not expect that you will be given the right of way, even if you know it ought to be given to you
  • make sure that it is safe to pass or change traffic lanes before you do so
  • keep a minimum three-second following distance - start your count when the car ahead passes a fixed point
  • when you drive in rain or winter weather, reduce your speed and increase your following distance
  • make sure there is a safe amount of space on all sides of your vehicle
  • plan all your trips so you can use routes you know well - stay away from highways with heavy traffic and high traffic speeds
  • try not to drive at dusk or dawn when you cannot see as well
  • do not drive for extended periods of time without rest
  • keep windshields and rear windows clean on the inside and the outside
  • avoid looking at the headlights of vehicles that approach you
  • concentrate on your driving and be prepared for events you do not expect
  • do not drive if you are emotionally upset
  • reduce background noise - keep your air conditioning or heater and the volume of your radio, on lower settings.
  • never drive after you consume alcohol or drugs (including prescription drugs).
  • also read the labels on over-the-counter medications - these medications can also affect your ability to drive
  • take a driver improvement course.

It is important for older drivers to retain or improve their driving skills and judgment. Older drivers can help maintain safe driving skills and extend their years of driving if they

  • have their driving abilities assessed frequently
  • attend driver safety courses to help renew driving knowledge and skills
  • recognize vision changes and see their eye care specialist
  • keep active to maintain quick reflexes and remain flexible
  • when required, get physical therapy and medical rehabilitation