The keys to driving at any age
Remember the feeling of getting your first driver’s license? It was a mile marker to independence. Back then, we knew we had to pay attention, because we were just learning to drive. After years of habit, it’s important to check in with how your mind and body may have changed. Stopping or limiting driving comes down to your ability. Understanding the natural changes that come with aging can help keep older drivers on the open road.
Recognizing age-related change while driving
When you’re unable to drive safely, you don’t just put yourself at risk, you put others at risk, too. If you relate to any of these signs, it’s time to assess your ability to drive.
Have you suffered a stroke, heart attack or diminished eyesight?
Are you ignoring road signs or reacting slowly to streetlights?
Do you have difficulty in moving your body behind the wheel?
Are you changing lanes suddenly or straddling or drifting into lanes?
Do you get surprised by pedestrians or other vehicles?
Have you been cited for traffic violations or crashes?
Are you missing turns or getting lost in familiar areas?
Other ways to get around
Reliable transportation isn’t limited to your car. Several transportation services use flexible systems like paratransit to provide options for people who can’t use regular, fixed route bus services.
We’re here to help
Virginia GrandDriver helps you and your family navigate age-related changes to keep everyone safe on the road. Our toolkits and resources equip older drivers with information that will help them safely stay on the road for as long as possible.
Is your medication affecting your driving?
Taking medication doesn’t mean you can’t drive. It just means more planning in driving responsibility. How a drug will affect a person is difficult to predict. To minimize your risks and ensure you stay safe behind the wheel, talk to your health-care professional about the effects of medications and driving.
Generally, prescription and over-the-counter medications can slow reflexes, blur vision and cause drowsiness or dizziness. Additionally, cough syrups and pain relievers may unexpectedly interact with other drugs or food in your body.
Protect your health and safety by being aware of your medications and planning your driving in accordance with your dosages.
The following publications can help you further understand changes that come with aging and how it can impact your driving. Hard copies of the following publications can be obtained from The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, or AAA and AARP offices.