In the UK there is no maximum age limit on when you have to stop driving. However, medical conditions and getting older can affect your ability to drive. Here are some factors to consider and resources to help you with driving in older age.
Factors To Consider
Once you reach 70 years of age, you’ll be asked to renew your driver’s licence every 3 years. When deciding whether to renew, the following factors can be considered:
As we age our reaction times slow down. It’s important to be able to stay alert and react quickly to any hazards on the road. If you’ve noticed your reaction times are considerably slower or you’re finding traffic conditions increasingly stressful, it may be time to think about stopping driving.
If you’re worried about your eyesight affecting your ability to drive it may be worthwhile consulting an optician. They will be able to check up on any conditions that may impact your driving and offer advice on whether it’s still safe to drive.
If you have a medical condition which could affect your driving, you will need to declare this to the DVLA. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you will loose your licence!
They will help you determine whether it’s still safe to drive and can even help with alterations or modifications to your vehicle that may be needed so you can continue to drive.
If you’re unsure whether your medical condition affects your ability to drive, consult your GP or health practitioner. They will be able to do an assessment and provide you with specialist advice.
If you have a medical condition, you may benefit from having your driving reassessed to check on your ability to drive. You can access this through a Local Driver Assessment Scheme or Mobility Centre.
Resources To Keep Driving
Just because you’ve noticed a change in your driving doesn’t mean you have to give it up. There are plenty of resources available to help you keep driving safely as you get older.
Mobility Centres provide assessments and advice for people with medical conditions or disabilities which may impact their ability to drive safely. This includes advice for those who may require special modifications to their vehicle in order to control it safely or make it wheelchair accessible.
Alternatives To Driving – Don’t Lose Your Independence!
Having a car offers independence and freedom, so giving up your licence can be daunting. However, it doesn’t have to be the end of your independence. There are many alternatives to driving that can ensure you still remain independent and able to get out and about.
Public transport is a great way to get around both locally and nationally. Your local council will be able to provide you with information about the local bus services in your area and any concession fares such as an Older Person’s Bus Pas or a Disabled Person’s Bus Pass.
Get a Senior Rail Card
Train companies will be able to provide you with information about short distance and long distance train journeys around the country. Those aged 60 and over are entitled to the Senior Rail Card which offers discounts on train fares and other special offers for senior citizens.
Taxis are another way to remain independent. If you use a taxi company regularly you may be able to ask for a discount and find a driver who you trust.
Losing the ability to drive can make tasks such as grocery shopping difficult to complete. One solution is to buy your groceries online and have them delivered right to your door! Most major supermarket chains will offer this service. Another option could be a food subscription box where you will be delivered a box of measured ingredients and nutritious recipes to cook for the week.
When you’re not out and about a Careline Personal Alarm offers you security to remain independent in your own home. For more information, our friendly Customer Service Team can be reached on 0800 101 3333 or via email at email@example.com.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated on 13th September 2021 to reflect current information.