Older drivers have special challenges when it comes to safe driving. With age comes a gradual reduction in muscle mass and a decline in the availability of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These changes can disrupt your concentration and increase the amount of time it takes to evaluate and respond to information.

In addition to common age-related changes, you may also have a medical problem that can affect driving. For example, an eye problem such as cataracts, glaucoma or macular degeneration can reduce your field of vision, blur your vision or decrease your ability to adjust to low-light conditions or glare.

Conditions such as arthritis or Parkinson's disease can make it difficult to maneuver a car or turn your head to check for surrounding vehicles. What's more, a variety of medications can cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness or confusion, which can affect your driving.

Even if you’re just darting out to pick up a few groceries, make sure you're doing everything you can to stay safe on the road.

Additional resources

For additional information on safe driving, visit www.aarpdriversafety.org. To learn about the "CarFit" program developed by the American Society of Aging, AARP, AAA and the American Occupational Therapy Association, visit www.car-fit.org. The program helps ensure that your car addresses your safety needs.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at Healthcommunities.com

Published: 07 Jul 2013

Last Modified: 07 Jul 2013