Older drivers tend to drive less frequently and cover smaller distances than younger people. Despite this, statistics show that, based on fatalities per kilometre travelled, drivers aged 65 and over are seven times more likely to be killed than the lowest risk age group.
If you are over 65 years of age, it is necessary for you to assess how safe a driver you are. Ask yourself the following questions:
- do I have difficulty turning my head to see over my shoulder?
- do I find driving for an hour or more exhausting?
- do I have difficulty maintaining concentration while driving?
- have I had an increasing number of 'near-misses' on the road?
- have passengers warned me about things on the road I have seen too late?
- are my children concerned about me driving my grandchildren?
- do I find it more difficult to see at twilight than I used to?
- am I more uncomfortable in heavy traffic than I used to be?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, it may be necessary for you to modify your driving behaviour to minimise your chance of being involved in an accident.
There are some easy steps you can take that will keep you on the road for longer.
- use public transport or drive to the closest, most convenient form of public transport
- try to limit driving to off-peak periods
- plan shorter driving periods, and rest along the way
- try to drive in daylight hours
- take some refresher driving lessons
- do not drive if you have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medication
Fact sheets and advice
Victoria Police's Road Policing Command produces quarterly articles on road safety for seniors. These are available for public use:
Fact sheets for older drivers
Road rules change over time. To keep up to date with recent changes, read the Driving in Victoria: Rules and Responsibilities handbook. It is available at VicRoads bookshops.
Reviewed 08 April 2019