How does age affect the driving abilities in elderly people? Driving can be a sensitive topic for your loved one. Telling them that it is time to stop driving can be one of the most difficult moments in a carer’s life. However, just because a person is old, does not mean they are a bad driver.
Here is some insight on how aging can affect the driving abilities of elderly people.
Driving requires elderly people – or any person for that matter – to have good coordination skills. Changes to the body, both physically and mentally, during the aging process can seriously deplete the driving abilities of elderly drivers.
These changes include:
• A slower reaction time
• Deterioration of vision and hearing
• Weakening of muscle strength and flexibility
• Hazards due to medications such as drowsiness
• Decline in one’s ability to focus or concentrate
• Reduced tolerance for alcohol
Separately, these changes are not a cause for concern. However, all care-givers should carefully monitor and evaluate the elderly persons driving skills in order to determine whether alternative measures need to be taken or whether their driving should be stopped altogether.