Preparing Your Aging Driver

After years of experience, driving will change for a senior citizen. From insurance changes to physical challenges, everyday driving will be increasingly more difficult. If you have family members in their early 60s, now is the time to prepare for these changes. 

Insurance Premiums

As new drivers, teens are very costly to insure. This is mainly because of their lack of driving experience. As we age, premium discounts are applied once we gain that driving experience. It is usually true, that with age, comes a maturity with driving and less risks are taken, such as speeding. Unfortunately though, that driving experience reaches a peak with insurance discounts. In fact, insurance starts to increase again once we reach the age of 65. To keep insurance premiums at the lowest possible for your aging driver, have them take driving courses, avoid long trips or trips at night, and have available transportation during bad weather. 

Physical Challenges

Aging bodies encounter changes to many functions that are needed for driving. Declining eyesight is one these challenges. If there is difficulty in seeing the traffic signs, the stripes on the road, or issues during rain and night driving, extra care should be taken with eye exams and driving tests. Other physical challenges are hearing loss, mobility issues, and confusion with direction. If your aging driver seems agitated or anxious, discuss the physical challenges that they may be experiencing. 

Safe Alternatives

This is a very difficult time for both the aging driver and the loved one concerned about the aging driver. It is a tough situation to discuss AND hear. 

Reaching a certain age might be the marked time to discuss changes with your aging driver. If there is no ‘set’ time for this discussion, be sure to recognize signs prompting for that talk. Have there been any at-fault accidents. Is the aging driver receiving citations? Are there frequent scratches and dents on the vehicle? Is the driver’s response time delayed? Have you witnessed them make several driving errors, such as confusing the pedals? These are all signs that it is time to prepare and protect your aging driver. 

If it is time to suspend driving for your loved one, there are alternatives for transportation they can use. Many retirement communities use vehicles to transport their residents to appointments and activities. If your loved one still lives in their home, aides can be hired for transportation. There are also ride-share programs such as Uber and Lyft.