To many of us, driving is synonymous with independence. So, when the time comes to consider whether our driving skills are as sharp as they once were, being honest with ourselves can be difficult. That said, simply being a certain age doesn't automatically mean you have to give up your car keys.

Chronological age has nothing to do with determining driving ability. As long as physical and cognitive issues aren't preventing you from driving—and not putting yourself or others at risk—you should be able to continue navigating the roads.

Consider having your driving assessed by a professional car safety specialist if any of these sound like you:

  • Other people have expressed concern about your driving or are afraid to get in the car with you.
  • You're afraid to make left turns or go through intersections.
  • You have difficulty turning around or backing up.
  • You've been involved in an accident or have had several close calls.
  • You have difficulty judging gaps in traffic while waiting to turn or cross a road.
  • You have difficulty seeing traffic signs or signals.
  • Your car has multiple dents and scrapes from objects like fences, garage doors and mailboxes.
  • You frequently hit curbs when driving.
  • You have trouble moving your foot from one pedal to the other or have confused the gas and brake pedals.
  • You have trouble staying in your lane.
  • You're increasingly nervous about driving.
  • Other vehicles or pedestrians often seem to appear out of nowhere.
  • You're easily distracted when driving.
  • You feel exhausted after driving.
  • You've received traffic tickets or warnings.
  • You're taking a longer time to drive to regular destinations than you have in the past.
  • You're frequently honked at.
  • You easily become angry and frustrated with other drivers.
  • You get lost in familiar places.

Source: Prepared by the Editors of The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: Health After 50

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 20 Jul 2013

Last Modified: 28 Aug 2013