Jones & Swanson

Tips for Older Drivers

There are more than a million drivers over the age of 65 in Georgia. More than 768,000 of them are 70 or older, according to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. It’s clear that seniors value independence and want to share the road with their fellow motorists, but as people get older operating a vehicle can become more difficult to do safely. If you are a driving senior or know one, please keep these safety tips in mind and share them with your loved ones.


  • Keep cell phones on mute and avoid using them while driving. Using your phone while you drive distracts you from the road and other motorists, so it’s a good idea to leave it alone when you drive. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of auto accidents in Georgia.
  • Keep music and the radio off. Much like using a cell phone, listening to something in the car can distract from your surroundings and limits your ability to hear important noises. For instance, your vehicle could be making a concerning sound or an emergency vehicle could be approaching, but you may not hear them with the background noise. Aging can lessen our ability to hear properly, so it’s wise to keep a quiet car.
  • Do not eat while driving. Eating behind the wheel is also a dangerously distracting habit to avoid. If you have to eat or drink, pull into a safe area such as a parking lot.

REMEMBER THE BASICS. Most of us have heard these often enough to be ingrained in our memory. However, a reminder never hurts, especially as a senior. 

  • Seat belts save lives; never drive without wearing yours! If the seat belt is uncomfortable on your shoulder, adjust the shoulder mount or consider purchasing a shoulder mount that slips over the seat belt. 
  • Watch the road. Reaction time can slow as we age so it’s important to keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicles around you.
  • Do not drink and drive. Driving impaired is not a good idea for any age, but seniors should be extra careful. As you age, your ability to process alcohol can change. Even one drink can make an older driver unsafe on the road, especially when mixed with certain medications.


  • Avoid driving in bad weather. Rain, snow, fog, and other hazardous conditions are extra dangerous for seniors. Let the bad weather clear before you get behind the wheel. If you must travel, use public transportation or a car service.
  • Choose a safer route. Try to avoid highways with ramps, which can be dangerous for older drivers. Making left turns on highways or busy roads are more difficult for older folks as well. It’s better to go a little out of your way to avoid dangerous intersections and turns.
  • Drive when fewer people are out. Peak rush hour traffic can be stressful for all drivers, but particularly for older drivers. Try to limit driving to those times when traffic is lighter.
  • Stressed or tired? Stay where you are until you’re feeling awake and calm. Driving when you’re not at your best can be dangerous.


  • Know the effects of your medications. Some can make you feel drowsy, affect reaction time, and others cause attention issues. Some prescriptions may warn against driving while taking the medication. Review your medications with your primary care provider or a pharmacist to see if your medication(s) could lead to unsafe driving.
  • Consult a driving rehabilitation specialist. If you or your loved one are having difficulties driving, it may be time to consult a professional to evaluate the body and mind. Based on their evaluations, they can recommend other ways to improve driving safety and let you know if driving is still a safe option.

For other driving safety tips you can visit the Safety Tips category on our blog. For legal advice regarding auto accidents involving seniors, please give us a call. We’re here to help!

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