What are some warning signs an older driver is at risk?

This answer is based on a publication and research conducted by The Hartford and MIT AgeLab:

The driving behaviors listed below could cause safety problems. They are ranked from minor to serious. Many of the less serious issues may be overcome with changes in driving behavior or physical fitness, while the more serious behaviors may require immediate action. Since driving ability seldom changes drastically in a short time, it should be possible to track changes over time to get a clear picture of overall driving ability. 

Here’s how to use this list:
  • Observe driving over time, keeping notes to help understand changes in driving ability.
  • Look for a pattern of warning signs and for an increase in the frequency of occurrence.
  • Decrease in confidence while driving
  • Difficulty turning to see when backing up
  • Riding the brake
  • Easily distracted while driving
  • Other drivers often honk horns
  • Incorrect signaling
  • Parking inappropriately
  • Hitting curbs
  • Scrapes or dents on the car, mailbox or garage
  • Increased agitation or irritation when driving
  • Failure to notice important activity on the side of the road
  • Failure to notice traffic signs
  • Trouble navigating turns
  • Driving at inappropriate speeds
  • Not anticipating potential dangerous situations
  • Uses a “copilot”
  • Bad judgment on making left hand turns
  • Near misses
  • Delayed response to unexpected situations
  • Moving into wrong lane
  • Difficulty maintaining lane position
  • Confusion at exits
  • Ticketed moving violations or warnings
  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Car accident
  • Failure to stop at stop sign or red light
  • Confusing the gas and brake pedals
  • Stopping in traffic for no apparent reason

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.