How Does Age Effect Driving?

The Good News

Older drivers have a wealth of experience to rely on. Since driving is a skill, the longer you've been driving, the more you've learned about how to drive safely. Compared to when you first took the wheel, you now know a lot more about what can go wrong. You can recognize dangerous drivers and anticipate traffic problems. You've been gaining experience since the day you started to drive. As a result, you're probably better educated in safe driving now than when you started to drive.

Another big advantage you have is maturity. All the learning in the world is useless unless a person knows when and how to apply their knowledge. Consider the young driver... he or she may have completed a course in driver education, but young drivers are in too big of a hurray to practice what they've learned. They drive too fast, drive after drinking, or become involved in unsafe situations even though they know better.

The Not-So-Good News

Physical limitations develop as we age. In fact by the time you took your first driving test you were already past your peak in some respects. Hearing peaks around the age of eleven, and visual acuity tops out around the age of 14. Other physical changes usually begin in the late 20s or early 30s. In spite of increased knowledge and experience, it takes more time to process information as we age. Changes accelerate around age 50 or 55. Naturally, the degree of change varies widely from person to person. Some people in their 60s and 70s, though no longer as finely tuned, may be sharper physically than many 30 year olds.

Are You A Safe Driver?

Studies have shown that most experienced drivers never received safe-driving instruction; they got in a car and drove. Other drivers knew quite a bit about safe driving at one time but have since forgotten. Still others have not kept up with changes in highways, automobiles, traffic signs, or the rules of the road.

When it comes to actual driving, however, some studies show experienced drivers have fewer collisions than new drivers. Long-time drivers can generally handle a car better than new drivers, steering clear of trouble or getting out of a tight situation with confidence.

Seniors For Safe Driving

The Seniors For Safe Driving Program Is Designed to Help You Do A Better Job:
  • Seeing and analyzing what's going on around you
  • Cooperating with other drivers
  • Vehicle speed in relation to highway conditions
  • Keeping and maintaining safe following distances
  • Handling daily driving emergencies
  • Understanding the importance the physical condition of the older driver
  • Understanding ABS braking systems
  • Learning to protect youself and others from the air bag
  • Problems and limitations of seniors in relation to night driving.
  • Understanding the value of seat belts
  • Understanding the problems with alcohol and prescription drugs
  • Pennsylvania's highway system
  • Understanding Pennsylvania's regulatory signs
  • Managing road rage

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Seniors For Safe Driving

Dedicated to Highway Safety

P.O. Box 505
Lyndora, Pennsylvania 16045

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Leo R. Parisi
(724) 283-0245
(800) 559-4880