If you are an older driver or a caregiver, NHTSA encourages you to talk about driving safety. We offer material to help you understand how aging can affect driving and what you can do to continue driving safely as you age, such as adapting a vehicle to meet specific needs.
What You Can Do
If You’re a Family Caregiver: Talking About Driving With an Older Driver
Talking with an older person about their driving is often difficult. Most of us delay that talk until the person’s driving has become what we believe to be dangerous. At that point, conversations can be tense and awkward for everyone involved. But there are things you can say and do to make those conversations more productive and less tense.
Learning How to Understand and Influence Older Drivers will help you support an older driver’s needs, as well as find community resources that can help put your older-driver plan into action. If you have decided to initiate a conversation with an older loved one about driving safely, take these three steps:
- Collect information;
- Develop a plan of action; and
- Follow through on the plan.
You might also want to consider learning how to adapt a motor vehicle to accommodate the unique needs of an older driver and discussing it with your loved one.
If You’re an Older Driver: Tips to Drive Safely While Aging Gracefully
Did you know? Some state departments of motor vehicles place restrictions on drivers once they reach a certain age. Find out whether your state defines “Older Drivers” at a certain age, and what that means for driver’s license renewal and restrictions, including tests. Key Provisions of State Laws Pertaining to Driver Licensing Requirements
Decisions about your ability to drive should never be based on age alone. However, changes in vision, physical fitness and reflexes may cause safety concerns. By accurately assessing age-related changes, you can adjust your driving habits to remain safe on the road or choose other kinds of transportation.
If you’ve noticed changes in your vision, physical fitness, attention, and ability to quickly react to sudden changes, it’s important to understand how these changes may be affecting your ability to drive safely. Driving Safely While Aging Gracefully is a resource developed by the USAA Educational Foundation, AARP and NHTSA to help you recognize warning signs and pick up useful tips on what you can do to remain a safe driver.
One way to stay safe while driving is by making sure you understand how medical conditions can impact your ability to drive safely. Another way is by adapting your motor vehicle to make sure it fits you properly, as well as choosing appropriate features, installing and knowing how to use adaptive devices, and practicing good vehicle maintenance.
If you are an older driver with a medical condition, or if you are a concerned caregiver, NHTSA has several resources for safer driving.
These resources will help you learn how medical conditions can affect driving, what to do if you're experiencing or witnessing certain warning signs, and where to learn more about certain medical conditions. These resources also provide information about transportation alternatives and how to get help with transportation.
Information on Driving with Medical Conditions
- Alzheimer’s Disease (PDF, 198K)
- Arthritis (PDF, 217K)
- Cataracts (PDF, 217K)
- Diabetes (PDF, 197K)
- Glaucoma (PDF, 183K)
- Macular Degeneration (PDF, 189K)
- Parkinson’s Disease (PDF, 192K)
- Sleep Apnea (PDF, 195K)
- A Stroke (PDF, 178K)
NHTSA has many online resources to help older drivers learn how to best drive with certain conditions. Browse our selection of YouTube videos, starting with an Introduction to Medically At-Risk Driving and How to Adapt Your Vehicle.
YouTube Videos About Driving with Medical Conditions
NHTSA also offers YouTube videos to help law enforcement cite and refer medically impaired drivers and state departments of motor vehicles screen for medically at-risk drivers.
NHTSA is dedicated to promoting safe behaviors on our nation’s roads
Between 2011 and 2020, the U.S. population of people 65 and older increased by 35%. Because of the increasing proportion of older drivers on our nation’s roads, NHTSA is dedicated more than ever to promoting safe behaviors of older drivers on our nation’s roads.
NHTSA demonstrates its commitment to the safety of older drivers by working with and educating many national, State and community partners to provide resources for drivers, families, caregivers, health care professionals, law enforcement and departments of motor vehicles.
In this section, you’ll find the following resources for older drivers, caregivers, adult children, medical providers, law enforcement and traffic safety advocates:
- Information and videos on how aging and medical conditions can affect driving;
- Guidance on how to assess and discuss older driver safety issues; and
- Transportation options, such as adapting a vehicle to meet the needs of an older driver.