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Older Drivers

Driving is more complex and demanding than it used to be. There's considerably more traffic on the road and motorists have to process more and more information both inside and outside the car.

The over 50 motorist brings a wealth of experience, confidence and tolerance to their driving. However, as you grow older, your ability to interpret the movements and intentions of other drivers and reaction to situations gradually changes.

Your sight, hearing and judgement of speed may not be quite as sharp as they were when you were younger. Stiffening joints may make it difficult to turn your head to check blind spots or keep a check on vehicles either side of you. These changes occur so gradually, that you may not realise they're happening. By taking even greater care and adjusting your driving habits to compensate for any deterioration in your eyesight and judgement, you can drive safely and confidently well into your later years.

What can We do

What can older road users do

Try putting into practice the 7 basic principles of defensive walking:

  • Avoid rush hours and avoid going out when it is dark or in bad weather
  • Choose the safest time possible for your journey
  • Plan the journey and cut down the number of times you have to cross the road
  • Wear bright clothing so that you can easily be seen
  • For the safest place to cross, and preferably use a protected crossing, Pelican, Zebra, or footbridge .
  • Cross where you have a good view of traffic. Cross with a group of people if you can
  • Carefully check the speed of approaching vehicles. If in doubt do not cross
  • Even if the speed limit is 50kmh, cars may be going much faster
  • Check for vehicles which may turn unexpectedly towards yo
  • Will a stationary car move off? Is it a one way street? Are any cars signalling or slowing down to turn in front of you?
  • Check that the driver is doing what you expect them to do
  • Is the car stopping at a pedestrian crossing? Will a signalling car turn?
  • Check that the driver has seen you
  • Do parked cars make it hard for you to be seen? Try making eye contact with the driver. At night cross near a streetlight
  • Due to the ageing process, driving abilities deteriorate from around the mid fifties onwards
  • Poor eyesight can cause the older road user to be involved in collisions. Road users need to see as well as be seen

Presentation for older drivers.

Powerpoint presentation for older drivers

Click to View Presentation for older drivers. (Power presentation; 645 kb)
Click to View Alternative Format for Presentation for older drivers.