Safe Driving For Seniors

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Safe Driving Brochure Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF)

Health Changes as You Age
Safe Driving Tips
Driving Courses
How safe is your driving?
Driver Assessment Centres
Renewing your License
Planning for the Future
Additional Resources

Busy and congested roads, faster speed limits, wider intersections and the health changes that occur as a result of normal aging can impact your ability to safely drive.

Health Changes as You Age

Normal aging affects your ability to drive including:

  • Declining eyesight or hearing
  • Slower reaction times
  • Pain/stiffness(difficult to check blind spots, turn the steering wheel, apply brakes)
  • Conditions (dementia or stroke) that affect your judgment
  • Side effects of medications

Physicians follow guidelines to assess your medical fitness to drive . Your doctor will notify you and the Ministry of Transportation if it is no longer safe for you to drive.

Safe Driving Tips

  • Preplan your route and parking
  • Give yourself lots of time
  • Always wear your seat belt
  • Do not drive at night if your night vision is not good
  • Do not drive in bad weather
  • Stay on familiar roads
  • Do not go on busy roads at peak traffic times
  • Do not use multi-lane highways if you are not used to traffic
  • Stay alert and focus on driving
  • Be aware of traffic signs/signals and other cars at intersections
  • Look out for people walking, on bikes, and in other cars
  • Be ready for unexpected actions, (doors opening, people pulling out of driveways)
  • Leave enough space between you and the vehicle ahead
  • Avoid driving when tired, not feeling well, or after taking medication that makes you sleepy

Driving Courses

  1. Drive Wise External Link
      1 hour free talk to improve driver safety.
      Contact 905-878-5511 ext. 5064
  2. 55 Alive Driver Refresher Course
      8 hour course taught by drivers aged 50+ years. $35 per book, plus cost of instructor.
      Contact the Canadian Safety Council External Link
  3. Private Driving Schools
      In-class and in-car training.
      Costs can range from $30 to $50/hour.
      Check the yellow pages (Driving Instruction).

How safe is your Driving?

Consider:
      Are you having more near collisions?
      Have you been involved in small collisions?
      Do you have a hard time at intersections, judging distances, seeing people, road signs, and other cars?
      Do you have a hard time focusing while driving?
      Do you get lost or confused on familiar roads?
      Do you have a hard time moving your hands and feet at the same time?
      Are you having problems seeing, especially at night?
      Do you get nervous behind the wheel?
      Do other cars often honk at you?
      Are family members worried about your driving ability?
      Have you had a stroke or illness that might affect your driving?
      Do you take any medication that might affect quick driving decisions?

If you answered yes to one or more of the questions, you may want to:

  • Take a driving course
  • Get your hearing /eyesight checked
  • Talk with your doctor or other expert about your skills
  • Get tested at an driving assessment centre

Driver Assessment Centres

Centres give good feedback if you have questions about driving safely:

  1. DriveABLE External Link
      250 Commercial Street, Milton / 555 Sanatorium Road, Hamilton.
      Cost is a medical expense on income tax / covered by Veteran Affairs.
  2. Driving Assessment Program External Link
      St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Guelph
  3. Advance Driver Rehabilitation Service External Link
      1355 Artisans Court Unit B, Burlington

Renewing your License

Planning for the Future

Additional Resources

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