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When to Stop Driving

Evaluate Your Driving Skills

By age 50, you may notice that you no longer feel comfortable driving on congested roads or you limit the hours you drive at night. Research shows that the majority of older drivers begin to restrict their driving because they recognize situations where they no longer feel safe.
 
AARP has developed a fitness-to-drive survey tool to help drivers judge their skills.

Pay Attention to Warning Signs

AARP has a list of warning signs that show when it may be necessary to limit or stop driving:
 
  • Feeling nervous or fearful while driving
  • Dents and scrapes on the car or on fences, mailboxes, garage doors, curbs, etc.
  • Difficulty staying in the lane of travel
  • Getting lost
  • Trouble paying attention to signals, road signs and pavement markings
  • Slow response to unexpected situations
  • Medical conditions or medications affecting the ability to handle the car safely 
  • Frequent "close calls" (i.e. almost crashing)
  • Trouble judging gaps in traffic at intersections and on highway entrance/exit ramps
  • Other drivers honking at you and times when you are angry at other drivers
  • Friends or relatives not wanting to drive with you
  • Trouble seeing the sides of the road when looking straight ahead
  • Being easily distracted or having a hard time concentrating while driving
  • Having a hard time turning around to check over your shoulder while backing up or changing lanes
  • Frequent traffic tickets or warnings in the past two years
 
AARP recommends that if you notice one or more of these warning signs, you should attend a driver refresher class.
 
Consult with a doctor if you are having unusual concentration or memory problems, or other physical symptoms affecting your ability to safely drive a car.
 
Refer to the Association’s Warning Signs page for additional information.

Plan for Retirement from Driving

Just as we plan for our financial security when we stop working, we need to plan for our transportation needs when we can no longer drive.

Consider developing a Retirement from Driving Plan.

There are also financial benefits to retiring from driving. AAA estimates the yearly cost of driving 15,000 miles as:

  • $7,000 in a small car;
  • $8,800 in a mid-size vehicle;
  • $10,800 in a full-size sedan; and
  • $11,000 in an SUV

And these costs do not include car payments!

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