Safe Driving for Seniors

Reviewed and Updated by Anastasia Iliou,

Did you know that approximately one in four drivers is a senior? As we age, our reaction times get slower, we naturally lose some mobility, and our senses weaken, making driving more dangerous. Safe driving for seniors is not much different from safe driving for younger adults. You should always wear your seatbelt, look over your shoulder when merging, and never use your phone or another distracting device while behind the wheel. However, there are senior-specific programs and ideas in place that can help you stay safe on the roads.

CarFit

CarFit is a program for seniors developed by AAA, AARP, and the American Occupational Therapy Association. They’re concerned with how much a senior’s driving ability is related to their car’s physical fit. Seniors are usually less detail-oriented and more forgetful, and they may miss things like being too far from the steering wheel, properly adjusting mirrors, etc. Even just being comfortable sitting in the driver’s seat can make or break a person’s driving ability. CarFit representatives take 20 minutes to check out your car and the way you drive and provide recommendations for adjustments and adaptations.

If a CarFit representative thinks that your car is not a perfect fit for you, that does not necessarily mean you need a new car. You can invest in items like a seatbelt extender, sun visor extenders, steering wheel covers for comfort, pedal extenders, larger mirrors, support cushions, etc. Your CarFit representative can help you find the items you need.

AAA Safety Recommendations

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recommends that senior drivers have special features installed in their cars. Some include power-operated seats, larger knobs and buttons, tilt steering that keeps you farther from the airbag, adjustable pedals, and head restraints that provide cushion if you are hit from behind. They also recommend that if you or your senior friend is in the market for a new vehicle, you should choose one with keyless entry and four doors for easier and safer transportation.

Senior Insurance Discounts

Seniors can usually find car insurance deals based on mileage. For example, if you’re retired, you probably don’t drive as often as you used to. By reporting your decrease in daily mileage, you can save on auto insurance. You can also take defensive driving courses or specific senior driving courses to help lower your rates. If you’re a senior in Tennessee, our friends at InsureTN can help you find great coverage at a great rate. Just give them a call at 615-964-5250.

Stay safe on the road!

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