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What should you do when following a car driven by an elderly driver? What should you do when following a car driven by an elderly driver?

  • Possible answers:

  • A. Expect the driver to drive badly

  • B. Flash your lights and overtake

  • C. Be aware that the driver's reactions may not be as fast as yours

  • D. Stay very close behind but be careful


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Changes in our driving abilities as we get older

As we get older, our reactions are slower in all aspects of life. This means that when driving, an older driver will take longer to perceive what is happening and react to that. For example, a car slowing down ahead, or a motorbike pulling out from a side road, or a child running into the road. 

Many older drivers will leave a larger gap to the vehicle in front and will drive slower. Older drivers have much more driving experience than you, and they will know better how to drive within their limits.

Elderly drivers also could suffer from worse eyesight. While their eyes may be able to focus, as we age, their ability to rapidly adjust from light to dark is reduced. This makes driving into a tunnel harder for older drivers.

Of course, the amount of change in a driver's abilities varies depending on the person. Some drivers will barely notice a difference while others will be dramatically affected. However, you will need to be tolerant of older drivers.