There are currently more than 40 million drivers in the United States who are 65 years of age or older. There are many benefits to these older adults getting behind the wheel. Not only does driving enable them to attend social events with friends and family, but it also helps them maintain their independence. In fact, some research has shown older adults may experience a decline in health once they stop driving.

However, at some point older adults may no longer be able to drive because of safety concerns. Here are some of the reasons why aging may affect the ability to drive safely:

1) Older adults have slower reflexes.

Drivers must be able to quickly swerve or slam on the brakes to avoid getting into car accidents, but this becomes harder to do as you age. Reflexes tend to slow down as people get older, and conditions such as arthritis can make it harder for older adults to move quickly to turn the steering wheel or put a foot on the brake.

2) Eyesight may worsen as we get older.

Even if you’ve never worn a pair of glasses in your life, your eyesight inevitably begins to worsen as we age. Older drivers may find it difficult to see at night, read traffic signs, or even spot a pedestrian crossing in front of their vehicle. Some older adults also experience a loss of side vision, which makes it challenging to drive safely with other vehicles on the road.

3) Hearing is affected by aging.

Drivers need to be able to hear sirens, horns, and other noises on the road in order to stay safe. However, hearing acuity decreases with age, so older drivers may not be able to tell when ambulance siren is approaching them, or from which direction. Even worse, older drivers may not hear when another driver is honking to warn them that they are about to collide.

4) Medications can interfere with driving ability.

Older adults tend to be on more medications than younger adults, and many of these prescription medications can interfere with a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. Side effects of medications can include drowsiness, nausea, or dizziness, which can all impact a driver’s ability to focus on the road and navigate safely through the streets.

If you are an older driver, it’s recommended you frequently check with your doctor to make sure it is safe for you to continue driving. But you should always use your best judgment. Even if a doctor says it’s fine, if you don’t feel comfortable driving, don’t put others at risk by getting behind the wheel.

If you are concerned about an older driver in your family or circle of friends, try to approach the topic gently. Help them figure out other methods of transportation so they do not feel isolated and alone without a car. Most importantly, be sure to emphasize you are only concerned about their safety.

Some older drivers are simply unable to safely operate a motor vehicle. If you or a loved one has been injured because of a negligent older driver, seek legal representation from Georgia personal injury attorney Frank Harris at once. Frank Harris has the experience and legal knowledge you need to recover compensation for your injuries, property damage, and more. Contact Frank Harris today by visiting or calling 678-483-8655 to arrange a consultation. You may also reach out via email at