How Seniors Can Improve Their Driving Skills

Updated on December 9, 2020
How Seniors Can Improve Their Driving Skills

As a senior, you must keep your driving skills up to par to pass your regularly scheduled driving tests and to keep up with young drivers on the road. Many states have requirements for older drivers that require them to renew their license more often than when they were younger. If you’re just hitting that threshold, it’s essential for you to strive for excellence with your driving skills. Losing your license could mean losing your means of transportation. Motivate yourself to learn how seniors can improve their driving skills and stay on the road for years to come.

Work on Your Reaction Time

Driving safely is all about reacting to scenarios quickly and intelligently. Making the wrong decision in a pinch or the right decision too late can lead to devastating crashes or accidents. As you age, your reaction time deteriorates—but it’s not too late to strengthen it again. Staying fit with regular exercise keeps you limber and your brain agile.

If you struggle with reaction time and how to improve it, take your slow reactions in mind when driving. Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and other cars on the road and break early rather than late. Watch for stale green lights and prepare to stop way ahead of time.

Practice Parking

Parking and using parking lots are essential driving skills that require regular practice for their improvement. If you notice that you’re starting to struggle with the parking lot—whether it’s the people or the parking spots themselves—take time to practice your skills. Just like you did when you were younger, go to an empty parking lot and work on fitting between the lines. When your issue lies with how busy parking lots can get, consider only going to stores during off-hours or unusual days.

For senior drivers that qualify for accessible parking, it’s especially important that you practice parking to respect the space of other drivers who need accessible parking. Avoid making critical mistakes with your accessible parking permit so you don’t get fined.

Know Your Limits

As a senior driver, it can be tempting to push yourself past your limits and insist that you’re capable of something you’re not comfortable with. Your body has its limits—whether it’s due to vision, drowsiness, or cognition. Set hard limits on when you can drive so no one else has to. If you can’t drive during the night, let people know so they can respect your time and don’t put you at risk of unsafe driving. Going the extra mile to ensure you’re a safe driver is one of the most essential ways how seniors can improve their driving skills, even if you don’t feel as though you’re pushing yourself.