Safer Driving for Older Adults from An Octogenarian

by Lucille Egan

What are some problems that could affect an older adult’s ability to drive?

Poor vision – you are more likely to have problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. These problems may cause problems with the glare from oncoming headlights, or shiny objects especially at dawn, dusk and at night.

Poor hearing – something as simple as earwax can contribute to hearing loss. Being unable to hear sirens, the honking of horns is very dangerous, so be careful.

What are some signs of unsafe driving ability?

Always asking passengers if it is clear to pass or turn

Being unable to judge distances between cars

Drifting across the lane or often bumping into curbs

Driving either too fast or too slow

Failing to yield to other vehicles that have the right of way

Ignoring your car’s mechanical symptoms

Disobeying or not understanding street signs or traffic lights

Not noticing or not responding quickly enough to pedestrians, bicyclists and other drivers

If you think you, or another older adult you know could use a driving refresher course, you might want to check out the AARP Smart Driver course, at, where you’ll learn:

Important facts about the effects of medication on driving.

How to reduce driver distractions.

How to maintain the proper following distance behind another car.

Techniques for handling left turns, right-of-way, and roundabouts.

Age-related physical changes and how to adjust your driving to compensate.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your kindness and support for purchasing the Street Chronicle from me. Hope you have a Great Day, every day, and remember to Drive Care-fully not Dare-fully!

Copyright Cleveland Street Chronicle September 2016 Issue 23.3 Cleveland Ohio