NHTSA encourages older drivers and their families to talk about driving safety. We offer materials to help seniors and their families understand how aging can affect driving and how an existing vehicle can be adapted to ensure continued safe driving.
Older Driver Safety
Talking with Seniors about Safe Driving
For many seniors, driving is essential to maintaining independence. But the ability can be affected by physical and mental conditions as we age.
Age is not the sole predictor of driving ability and safety. However, there is evidence that most of us experience age-related declines in our physical and mental abilities that can affect our ability to drive safely.
Older drivers and their families should discuss their driving as they age, their families should look for warning signs that might signal a need for a change, and seniors and families should investigate resources that can support their needs.
Conversations about safe driving seldom happen often enough, and when they do, the older person fears – sometimes accurately – that someone is trying to take the car keys away. The decision about driving for older adults is an emotionally charged issue, but it does not have to be that way.
What You Can Do
To hold a conversation with an older person about their driving, you should take three steps:
Develop a plan of action; and
Follow through on the plan.
This brochure provides a step-by-step guide to supporting an older driver’s needs. It also includes community resources that can help you put your older driver plan into action.
If you are an older driver with a medical condition, or if you have a friend or loved one who is an older driver with a medical condition, NHTSA has several resources for safer driving:
NHTSA has many online resources to help older drivers learn how to best drive under certain conditions. Browse our selection of YouTube videos to find a resource that best fits your need.