Key signs that your driving routines should change

There isn’t a set age when a person is no longer safe behind the wheel. Most people can safely drive well into their retirement years.

It’s very important – for everyone on the road - that we are realistic about our ability to drive safely. We must be prepared to make changes to our driving habits to reduce the risk of causing harm to ourselves or others.

Signs that driving habits need to change

You have been issued two or more infringements in the past two years

Tickets may indicate a greater risk of being involved in an accident.

You have been involved in two or more collisions or 'near-misses' in the past two years

Rear-end crashes, car park prangs and side collisions while turning across traffic rank as the most common mishaps for drivers with diminishing skills, depth perception or reaction time.

You have difficulty working the brake or the accelerator pedals

Drivers who lift their legs to move from the accelerator to the brake, rather than keeping a heel on the floor and pressing with their toes, may have reduced leg strength.

You sometimes miss stop signs and other traffic signals 

You may find your attention span has reduced or you cannot spot the signs in a crowded, constantly moving visual field.

You weave between or straddle lanes

Signaling incorrectly or not at all when changing lanes can be particularly dangerous especially if you fail to check mirrors or blind spots.

Other drivers beep or pass frequently even when the traffic stream is moving relatively slowly

This may indicate difficulty keeping pace with fast-changing conditions.

You get lost or disoriented easily, even in familiar places

This may indicate problems with working memory or possible early cognitive decline.

If you, or someone you know, show one or more of the above warning signs we recommend you or they consider undertaking an online assessment as an initial step to becoming a safer driver.

Driver safety self assessment

It is also important to talk to a doctor to help identify and address any weaknesses. These warnings do not necessarily mean that it’s necessary to stop driving. However, we need to be aware of, and manage, our driving limitations.

 when driving habits should change