6 Must-See Tips for Older Drivers

driverUse of a car can make life so much easier. However, it can also be difficult facing the challenges of old age when it comes to driving. Nevertheless, getting older doesn’t mean that you have to forsake driving altogether. It just requires a little more care and consideration to help you stay safe on the road.

Below are six top tips for older drivers to help you seize those golden years and remain mobile and active during your retirement.

1. Declare Any Conditions

(Image Source: H. Michael Karshis)

A huge range of health conditions can affect our driving, and its essential you declare any health issues to the DVLA if they are relevant for the road.

Whilst many of these will simply be noted on your license, others may require you to reapply for your license. It may seem inconvenient or annoying, but if you were involved in an accident and deemed unfit to drive then the consequences could be severe. Eyesight, for example, is a key thing to get checked regularly to ensure that you have the right corrective lenses for driving. Better to be safe than sorry, as our parents used to always tell us.

2. Renew Your License

A surprisingly number of people are unaware that when you hit 70 you have to renew your license. This isn’t anything to worry about, but is standard procedure in the UK to give you a current license and check that you’re still fit to drive. You can do this for free with Gov.UK and you’ll get a new photo ID, then thereafter you must update your license every 3 years to keep the DVLA aware of any changing health conditions.

3. Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed

(Image Source: Clint Gardner)

Tiredness is one of the biggest dangers on the road, and getting older you inevitably lack the energy and stamina that we take for granted in our younger years.

Long journeys can be exhausting, and require you to stay fully alert for hours on end, so try to avoid them wherever possible. Those aged over 65 can be eligible for huge discounts on public transport, especially coach and rail travel, so why not save money and stay safe on longer journeys by choosing an alternative? You can just sit back with the paper and a sandwich and enjoy the journey.

However if you do have to drive long distances, be sure to take regular breaks where possible to keep yourself awake and alert. Plan ahead, leave enough time for stops and take a nap if necessary.

4. Stay in Your Comfort Zone

You might have driven thousands of miles in your lifetime and be completely comfortable with any situation that you might face. However many people, both young and old, don’t enjoy that luxury.

Understanding your comfort zone as an older driver is important to ensure that you don’t get into any sticky and stressful situations. Many, for example, struggle driving at night, in bad weather or during rush hour. Try to avoid use of the car at times when you might be put under pressure, and you’re far more likely to want to continue driving.

5. Upgrade Your Car

(Image Source: Flickr)

Getting a roomy and comfortable car will make driving much more pleasurable during your golden years. If your current vehicle isn’t quite cutting it, think about upgrading to something more suitable.

Look for a car that has features such as large-wide angle mirrors, a low door, and comfortable adjustable seating to suit your requirements. The sportier vehicle might look impressive on your driveway, but with reduced mobility and aging bones it’s better to go for something more practical.

6. Shop Around For Car Insurance

Getting older doesn’t make you any more likely to be involved in an accident, but in the unlikely event that you do have an incident you want to make sure you have a good insurance policy.

The Internet offers a world of choice with car insurance, and the ability to compare policies like-for-like in moments.

If you aren’t quite sure how to use price comparison websites, enlist the help of a friend or family member. Find a policy with no age limit and good customer service to take the stress out of car insurance, and be rewarded for no claims bonuses that you’ve earned with your years of experience.

Don’t let your age get in the way of driving. By following these 6 top tips you can enjoy the use of a car well into your older years for grocery shopping, socialising and days out that will make your retirement fun and active.

This guest blog post was powered by Acorn Stairlifts, a brand dedicated to helping those with limited mobility to stay active and enjoy a better way of life.