Breakdown Cover

Safety tips for older drivers

Older drivers have more experience, are also likely to be more tolerant and confident on the road, and can be safer on the road than other age groups. However, older drivers’ eyesight, hearing and judgement may not be as sharp as they were.

What can I do to make driving safer?

  • Driving can be stressful – plan your journey and allow plenty of time.
  • Make sure all your windows are clean and mirrors are adjusted before you leave.
  • Take extra care at junctions.
  • Take extra care when turning right.
  • Do not exceed the speed limit.
  • Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
  • Remember to use the ‘Mirror-Signal-Manoeuvre’ routine.
  • Maintain good lane discipline.
  • Expect the unexpected!

What about medical conditions?

All drivers (regardless of age) are required to notify the DVLA of any medical condition that may affect their ability to drive. Also, if you are on prescribed medication, ask your doctor if it could affect your driving.

What about eyesight?

It is an offence to drive a vehicle if you cannot read a standard number plate from 67 feet (20.5m) in good daylight. If you require glasses/contact lenses then you must use them whilst driving.

What about car insurance for the over 50s?

Some insurance schemes offer special rates for more mature drivers.

Drivers aged under 50 are more likely to claim their car insurance than drivers over the age of 50. This is why some insurers are able to offer low premiums to more mature drivers.

When should I renew my licence?

The law requires the older driver to renew their licence at 70 and every 3 years thereafter.

Finally, when should I stop driving?

There is no legal cut-off age, but don’t wait for an accident to call it a day. It is up to you. If your reactions are slowing and you find everyday road conditions stressful, then you may want to consider stopping driving.