Aging Driver -woman

Tips for staying safe behind the wheel and more...

Aging and Driving

Older drivers are among the safest drivers on the road in part due to experience, but because of age and changes in physical limitations, they are also most at risk of harm in an accident. Read on for tips for how to increase your safety behind the wheel, and for alternatives to driving. We also share tips for family members and caretakers.

Stay Safe Behind the Wheel

  • Making sure you and your car "fit" well is an important consideration for safe driving. AAA’s CarFit program makes it easy to perform a 12-point check, including how to adjust your mirrors, seat belt, steering wheel, and more. Take the self-check assessment and sign up for a virtual CarFit event. [Note: Our in-person workshop in partnership with CarFit has been postponed until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic]
  • Learn about the safety features of your vehicle. Technology is rapidly advancing and many of us don’t fully utilize the safety features on our cars. Visit the My Car Does What website for descriptions and videos to learn how to use your car’s safety features. 
  • Learn facts about older drivers and steps to drive safely through the Center for Disease Control website.
  • Take a defensive driving course to learn additional skills and to save money on your car insurance. Learn more through our page dedicated to Driver Education.
  • Review the Senior Guide to maintaining independence behind the wheel.
  • Find and compare the Best Car Insurance for Seniors. 
  • Learn about vehicle recalls and safety updates at SaferCar.org

Assess Your Driving Capability

Family Conversations about Driver Safety

  • Initiate family conversations about driver safety early to help elders prepare for the possibility they may not always be able to drive.
  • Choose a neutral non-stressful setting for your conversation, not while you are in the car or in the midst of a driving incident.
  • Discuss the possibility of moving to a more accessible location to make getting around easier. You may find the cost of living closer to town is offset by the savings of being able to walk and take public transportation.  True Cost Tompkins highlights a few residents who made this and similar shifts. 

Alternatives to Driving 

  • When the weather is bad, why not encourage ridesharing or the use of a ride service for seniors? Explore other alternatives to driving like how to Find a Ride or ways to Save Green.
  • Uber and Lyft are available by smartphone for on-demand trips. Those without smartphones can access these services by calling Go Go Grandparent for an additional fee. 
  • Set up a weekly grocery delivery service like Rosie.  For those in need of emergency food contact 2-1-1 for a food box from a local food bank. 
  • Learn more about Accessible Mobility Options available to older adults, persons with disabilities, or individuals who use a wheelchair or mobility device.

Last updated September 23, 2021