When it comes to driving, some variables create different risks on the road. Regardless of how careful of a driver you are, there will always be driving risks. Let’s look at the driving risks associated with different age groups.

How Are Drivers Categorized?

Drivers in the U.S. are categorized by their age. Let’s see which group of drivers you fall into. Teenage drivers are at least 16 years of age, but younger than 20 years of age. Young adult drivers are at least 20 years old but younger than 24 years old but are often still categorized as teenage drivers because they are still inexperienced. Middle-aged drivers are at least 30 years of age, but not older than 65. Older drivers also referred to as senior drivers, are at least 65 years of age.

Which Driving Group Poses the Most Risk?

The driving group that poses the most risk on the road is teenage drivers. Why? Although teenage drivers receive their official state driver’s license at 18, they are still considered new drivers and don’t have as much experience as other age groups, making them more likely to be involved in an auto accident.

Risks Associated with Different Age Groups

Each driving group has different risks. Some age groups are more susceptible to specific risks than other age groups.

Risks Associated with Teenage Drivers

Teenage drivers have the highest risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident due to the following factors:

  • Teenage passengers
  • Different distractions while operating a motor vehicle
  • Inexperience
  • Speeding
  • Drinking and driving
  • Tailgating
  • Driving at night
  • Social norms (social media, texting, and driving)

Teenage drivers have a fatal crash rate that is almost 3 times as high as drivers who are at least 20 years of age, per mile driven. Due to driver inexperience in this age group, they are more prone to auto accidents and injuries. The risk of being involved in an auto accident is extremely high during the first few months after a teenager receives their official state driver’s license.

Risks Associated with Middle-Aged Drivers

Although middle-aged drivers have more driving experience than teenage drivers, they still have driving risks, such as driving while intoxicated, distracted driving, and speeding. Drivers in this age group often engage in aggressive driving behavior, which can lead to accidents and serious or fatal injuries.

Risks Associated with Older Drivers

The driving risks for older drivers include many things that occur as a person ages, such as poor vision, loss of hearing, and loss of memory. Due to these risks, older drivers are more susceptible than middle-aged drivers to auto accidents.

What Factors Determine a Good or Bad Driver?

Most drivers have seen their fair share of bad driving, but what determines if someone is a good or bad driver? Let’s look at the factors that separate a good driver from a bad driver.

Follows the Traffic Laws

Good drivers follow all traffic laws. If most drivers followed the traffic laws, there would be a lot less accidents.

Considerate of Other Drivers

A good driver stays mindful of other drivers and pays attention to their surroundings. A considerate driver ensures there’s enough space between your vehicle and theirs, and uses the proper turn signals.

Being Patient and Waiting

You must have patience when you’re driving. Having patience and remaining calm are priceless when it comes to driving. Rushing is a common cause of speeding and other aggressive driving behaviors, and you can avoid rushing by giving yourself enough time to reach your destination.

Takes Proper Safety Precautions

A good driver follows the rules, including wearing their seatbelt. Wearing a seatbelt helps prevent a serious car accident from becoming a fatal car accident. More than 30,000 people die in auto accidents each year. Properly wearing your seatbelt can help prevent fatalities and reduce injuries.

Accepts Responsibility

Good drivers accept responsibility for their actions on the road. Mistakes are inevitable. However, it’s important for drivers to take responsibility for their mistakes. Also, just a reminder that it’s illegal to leave the scene of an accident, even if you report it.

Prioritizes Car Maintenance

A good driver will prioritize car maintenance because they know it’s an important part of driving. Properly maintaining your vehicle ensures its longevity and safety, not to mention that you can avoid expensive repairs. Maintaining your vehicle is essential for your safety and the safety of others on the road.

Teenage Drivers at a Glance

Auto accidents are the leading cause of death in the U.S. for teenagers. Approximately 2,800 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19 perished in auto accidents in 2020, which equates to about 8 teenagers each day.

Teenage Driver Crashes, Injuries, and Fatalities

Teenage drivers between the ages of 16-19 have a fatal crash rate that is almost 3 times as high as drivers who are at least 20 years old, per mile driven. Driver inexperience is the primary cause of the crashes and injuries associated with teenage drivers.

Teen driver crash risks are extremely high during the first months they have their driver’s license. Driving at night is riskier than driving during the day for drivers of all ages. However, driving at night is more dangerous for teenage drivers.

8 Danger Zones for Teenage Drivers

Danger zones for teenagers are the leading cause of crashes and injuries among drivers in this age range. The 8 danger zones include the following:

  1. Driver inexperience
  2. Driving with other teenager and adult passengers
  3. Driving at night
  4. Neglecting to wear their seatbelt
  5. Distracted driving
  6. Drowsy driving
  7. Reckless driving
  8. Impaired driving

How Can Parents Keep Their Teenage Driver Safe On the Road?

The good news is auto accidents are preventable. As a parent, you can make a tremendous difference in helping to keep your teen driver safe. With your guidance and advice, you can help your teen become a responsible driver.

Use these tips to help you keep your teenage driver safe on the road:

  • Ride with your teenager for as many hours as possible. Most teenage drivers lack driving experience. As they continue to drive, they will gain more experience. It’s a great way to bond with your teen and show them the correct way to drive. Since they will be driving under your supervision, you can show them the ins and outs of driving.
  • Observe your teen while they’re driving. This is the perfect opportunity for you to make suggestions and help them improve their driving skills.
  • Make sure you’re practicing driving skills with your teen at different times of the day. You want to make sure that your teen knows how to navigate the road at different times.

It’s also a good idea to practice driving in different weather conditions and traffic types, such as light and heavy traffic. The more information your teenager knows about driving safely and has experience driving, the better they can navigate the roads and handle unexpected events while driving.

  • During the first 6 months your teenager has their driver’s license, you may want to limit their nighttime driving. While it is good to practice driving at night, during the first 6 months, they should drive under your supervision. If you allow your teenager to drive at night, make sure they are off the road no later than 10 PM during the first 6 months.
  • While your teenager is mastering their driving skills, they should drive without passengers (unless you are the passenger) until they gain more experience. As they get more experience, they’ll gain a better understanding of how to be a safe driver and the responsibilities that come with being a safe driver.
  • Discuss the rules of the road with your teen. You can create a parent and teenager driving agreement that sets clear expectations and limits while they’re on the road. You can also update this agreement as your teenager gains more driving experience. Using a parent and teenager driving agreement is a great way to develop trust. Require your teenager to wear their seatbelt every time they drive.
  • Make sure you’re modeling good driving etiquette! Although your teenager is growing up, they will model their behavior after what they see you doing, not what you’re saying, so make sure you’re setting an awesome example!

Middle-Aged Drivers at a Glance

Middle-aged drivers also face risks. Some of these risks occur when they’re on the road, and other situations can occur naturally that can create a risk while driving.

Age-Related Changes

As you age, your vision, cognitive abilities, and physical function can change. Many of these changes can affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle. Weakened muscles and stiff joints can affect your mobility, reaction time, and judgment. Arthritis can also be a factor when it comes to driving. If you notice a decrease in your vision, see an ophthalmologist to determine if glasses will help improve your vision.

Health Conditions

Middle-aged drivers are more susceptible to underlying health conditions, including problems with vision, diabetes, and heart disease. Make sure you have regular check-ups with your doctor to diagnose or help you manage any health conditions to ensure you can safely operate a motor vehicle.

Driving Habits

While there aren’t many danger zones for middle-aged drivers and driving experience isn’t an issue, there are different factors that put middle-aged drivers at risk of being in an accident, such as distracted driving.

Aside from health concerns that may be out of your control, there are factors in your control, such as distracted driving. Distracted driving is an issue for all drivers, however, it’s worse for middle-aged drivers because a lot of drivers who fall into this category believe they have enough driving experience to multi-task, such as texting while driving.

Eating and driving is another driving habit you can control. Eating while driving is another distracted driving practice that causes you to take your eyes off the road, which could lead to an auto accident.

Older Drivers at a Glance

There were more than 40 million U.S. licensed drivers who were at least 65 years of age in 2020, which is an increase of 68% since 2000. Although driving helps older individuals remain mobile and independent, the risk of being injured or killed in an auto accident increases.

In 2020, over 6,000 older adults were killed in auto accidents, and more than 189,000 were treated at an emergency facility for crash-related injuries, which means almost 20 older adults were killed and approximately 500 were injured in auto accidents.

Gender and age-related changes are major risk factors in auto accidents. Drivers who are at least 70 years of age have higher auto accident deaths per 1,000 crashes than middle-aged drivers. High crash death rates in this age group are primarily caused by increased vulnerability to injuries in an auto accident.

In all driver age groups, male drivers have higher auto accident fatality rates than females. Risk factors that can affect older drivers include changes in vision, physical functioning, and the ability to remember things. Some diseases and medications can also affect older adult’s driving abilities.

Common Mistakes Drivers Across All Age Groups Make

Most drivers know that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is something you don’t do. However, some drivers drive under the influence regardless of the cost. There are also other mistakes drivers make.


A lot of drivers engage in speeding, which is considered a type of aggressive driving. Whether you’re traveling too fast down a hill, through a curve, or going too fast for the current weather conditions, it’s a problem. Failure to control the speed of your vehicle can result in accidents, injuries, fines, and even fatalities.

If the weather conditions are unfavorable, such as fog and heavy rain, even if you’re traveling at the posted speed limit, if there are hazardous weather conditions, you should decrease your speed. Traveling too fast in unfavorable road conditions can cause you to lose control of your vehicle, especially within the first 5 minutes of rainfall.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is something many drivers across all age groups engage in. When you’re operating a motor vehicle, you need to remain focused on the road, keep both hands on the steering wheel, and be mindful of other drivers.

When you’re attempting to drive while you’re distracted, you lack these essentials. While you may think it’s safe to divide your attention between driving and other activities, such as checking your phone or texting, it’s not okay.

You may think you’re the ultimate multitasker, but it’s not worth the risk of compromising anyone’s safety, including yours! Emergencies can occur at any time, and if they do, you need to be alert and ready to respond immediately. If you’re texting or scrolling through your phone, you won’t be able to respond appropriately, which could cause an accident or result in serious injuries.

Neglecting to Drive In a Single Lane

Failing to drive in a single lane is a sure way to anger other drivers. Driving in this manner is also a way to become involved in an auto accident. Whether you’re not paying attention to other vehicles’ positions, are confused about road markings, or are unskilled in the proper way to maneuver while turning or changing lanes, you could accidentally end up in another traffic lane unexpectedly, causing other drivers to panic and possibly causing an accident. Unless you are intentionally and safely changing lanes, stay within your lane when you’re driving.

Unsafe Lane Changes

When you safely change lanes, you’re using the appropriate turn signal, checking your mirrors and blind spots, and waiting for a reasonable gap in traffic while adjusting your speed to merge into a different traffic lane safely. Too often, drivers abruptly change lanes without using the proper signal or enough space to merge safely into a different lane. These driving behaviors can lead to an auto accident.

Following Too Closely

Following behind another vehicle too closely is called tailgating, which is another type of aggressive driving. For instance, if you are traveling at 30 mph, a safe following distance would be no less than 5 car lengths (approximately 80 feet) from the vehicle in front of you. If you are traveling at 65 mph, a safe following distance should be no less than 18 car lengths (approximately 285 feet) from the vehicle in front of you.

One of the best ways to avoid tailgating is to follow the 3-second rule. To use this rule, pick an object that’s in front of you. When the vehicle in front of you passes the object, count to one-thousand-three (one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two, one-thousand-three). If you pass the object before reaching one-thousand-three, you’re following the vehicle in front of you too closely. Remember that you need to decrease your speed in bad weather, such as rain, sleet, or snow.

Driving Too Slowly

Did you know that driving too slowly was illegal? It is! Driving too slowly can also be dangerous. Driving below the speed limit means you’re traveling slower than the traffic around you, causing other drivers to slow down or pass you. The more often vehicles pass each other, the more likely they are to crash into each other. You should never disrupt the flow of traffic!

Faulty Evasive Actions

Drivers engage in faulty evasive actions when they neglect to execute the appropriate evasive maneuvers by failing to use sufficient steering inputs, such as not braking appropriately, or a combination of insufficient braking inputs or steering inputs. Faulty evasive action can also occur when drivers neglect to take the required steps to avoid a foreseeable auto accident.

For example, if an object falls off the back of a truck and into your path while you’re driving, what are you going to do? If you’re distracted and not alert, you won’t have enough time to react appropriately in this situation. However, if you’re paying attention, you will have time to move out of the path of the object safely.

Driving While Drowsy or Tired

If you have a hectic schedule, it can seem like there isn’t enough time in one day to get the sleep you need. However, this is not an excuse to operate a motor vehicle when you’re tired or drowsy. Even if you don’t feel sleepy, driving can be monotonous, which doesn’t help when you’re sleepy or tired.

When your body is tired or sleepy, keeping your eyes open won’t be enough to safely operate a vehicle. You need to be alert and able to think clearly to ensure you can drive safely. When you’re fatigued, it’s easy to lack these skills.

Challenges Most Drivers Face

Driving can be fun and exciting. However, as a driver, regardless of the age category you’re in, driving can be challenging. Let’s discuss the common driving challenges and how to handle them.

Neglecting to Pay Attention to Road Signs

Problem: New drivers often focus on the brake and accelerator, steering, wheel, and other vehicles, which means they’re looking everywhere, and their attention isn’t solely on the road. As a new driver, it can be difficult to focus on one thing, such as the road and road signs.

Solution: A good trick to try is narrating your actions out loud. For instance, when you pass a speed limit sign, say, “Speed limit sign, 55 mph”. You’ll be able to stay aware of the signs and their instructions. As you gain more experience driving, you’ll become familiar with these signs and won’t have to say them out loud.

Stopping and Going

Problem: Frequently changing speeds happen when drivers don’t apply the accelerator enough or apply the accelerator too much. If you’re a new driver, it can be tricky to determine how much pressure the accelerator needs, resulting in a jerky rollercoaster ride.

Solution: Before driving on the highway, practice driving in low-traffic areas. A few focal points to work on are smooth acceleration and braking. It may seem difficult at first, but you’ll get the hang of it! Look at the speedometer frequently to ensure you’re maintaining a steady speed.

Speeding Through Yellow Lights

Problem: when a traffic light turns yellow, this isn’t an indication that you need to speed up to make it through the light before it turns red. A yellow traffic light is your sign to slow down and prepare to bring your vehicle to a complete stop. Speeding through a yellow traffic light is dangerous, and it’s a safety risk that you don’t have to take.

Solution: View a yellow traffic light as your warning to slowly bring your vehicle to a complete stop. Don’t speed up and try to “beat the light”.

Taking Off Too Soon After a Traffic Light Turns Greens

Problem: You may have been sitting at a red light for a while, especially at busy intersections, and are eager to reach your destination, which can lead to you rushing or being anxious.

Solution: When the traffic light turns green, pause for a few seconds to look both ways to ensure the cross traffic has stopped, which means making sure that all vehicles have stopped so you can safely cross the intersection. This short pause can help increase your safety while on the road.

Braking Too Hard

Problem: Finding the right balance between braking and accelerating can be difficult, but with practice, it can be done. If you’re a new driver, you may struggle with pressing the brake too lightly or too hard.

Solution: Put your foot on the brake earlier than you think you need to. Braking early gives you more time and distance to slow down and bring your vehicle to a smooth stop.

How Does Age Affect Driving?

For many individuals, driving is a sense of maintaining independence as they age. Aging doesn’t have to mean you have to stop driving. You can reduce many driving risk factors by using safe driving practices.

Remember that everyone ages differently, so there’s no specific age to stop driving. However, as adults age, they are more susceptible to receiving traffic citations and being involved in more auto accidents than younger drivers.

The cause of the increase in auto accidents involving older adult drivers includes factors such as impaired hearing, decreased vision, and slower motor reflexes. Worsening health conditions can also be a factor.

Aging can also result in decreased coordination, flexibility, and strength, which can impair your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. For instance,

  • Neck stiffness or neck pain can make it more difficult to look over your shoulder to check your blind spots
  • Mild or severe leg pain can make it harder to move your foot from the accelerator to the brake pedal.
  • A decrease in arm strength can make it difficult to turn the steering wheel quickly and effectively.
  • Your reaction time can decrease as you age
  • You can lose the ability to divide your attention between multiple activities, such as checking the speed limit or road signs while still maintaining focus on the road.

It’s not uncommon for drivers to take pride in their driving safety record. However, as drivers age, their driving ability changes. Although you may feel overwhelmed at the thought of losing certain aspects of your independence, keep an open mind! You can still remain active and have a vibrant life without owning a vehicle.

Considering alternative methods of transportation can offer social and health benefits, and even offer a change of pace to your life. This change of pace may also be able to prolong other aspects of your independence.

At What Age Should Individuals Stop Driving?

There is no specific age at which individuals should stop driving. However, if you notice that your vision is declining or your reaction time is slower than usual, you may want to talk to your physician about underlying health conditions. If everything checks out, these factors may contribute to aging, which occurs naturally. However, there is no age in particular that individuals need to stop driving.

When Are Drivers Required to Surrender Their Driver’s License?

Deciding to surrender your driver’s license can be difficult, especially if you’re an older adult driver. Use these different factors to help you determine what works best in your unique situation:

  • Close calls – If there have been multiple incidents where a collision was narrowly avoided, you may want to consider surrendering your driver’s license instead of waiting until an auto accident occurs.
  • Cost – Owning a vehicle can be expensive. If the cost of owning a vehicle outweighs the benefits of owning a vehicle, you may want to think about surrendering your driver’s license.
  • Stress – If you notice that you become more stressed while driving, this could be an indication that driving could be affecting your overall health and safety. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to surrender your driver’s license, but you may want to consider different driving techniques or alternative traveling methods.
  • Traffic Violations – Accruing multiple traffic infractions could be an indication that your concentration and awareness of your surroundings are becoming less accurate, or you may notice that you’re getting confused a lot easier.
  • Health Concerns – Specific disabilities, diseases, or medications can affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Before taking medication, read the label to determine how it may affect you, such as your ability to drive. Some medications have side effects that include dizziness or drowsiness. If this is the case with the medication you are taking, stay home if you can. If not, have an alternative form of transportation ready, or ask friends or relatives if they can run errands for you.

Surrendering Your Driver’s License

If you choose to surrender your driver’s license, you’ll need to schedule an appointment and apply for an identification card. To schedule an appointment, contact your local transportation authority, such as the DMV, MVD, or similar authority, and schedule an appointment to surrender your driver’s license. Although your local transportation authority may not require you to make an appointment, having one can save time.

Next, you’ll need to apply for an identification card. Any driver who surrenders their driver’s license is eligible to apply for a state-issued ID. However, you can’t have an official state driver’s license and an ID card simultaneously.

Keep in mind that there is no legal age at which you are required to stop driving. You can, however, voluntarily surrender your driver’s license for medical reasons or any other reasons that make driving no longer an option. If you decide that you want to drive later on, you may be required to complete additional tests to be reissued a driver’s license.

Safe Driving Tips for Teenage Drivers

Earning your driver’s license is a major achievement and responsibility. Remember that driving is a privilege, not a right. Responsibilities accompany these new privileges. Car accidents are the leading cause of death in individuals between the ages of 12 and 19 years old. Many of these injuries and fatalities are preventable, so it is essential to learn and practice safe driving strategies. Here are different safe driving practices for teenage drivers.

Minimize Distractions

You’d be surprised at how many things are considered a distraction, especially while driving. When you’re driving, there are three types of distractions that can occur – cognitive, visual, and manual distractions. Cognitive distractions, such as daydreaming or talking, take your mind off driving, meaning you are less focused on the road. Looking at a passenger while driving or while they’re talking is an example of a visual distraction.

Sometimes scenery can be a distraction, such as falling leaves or auto accidents. Visual distractions cause you to refocus your attention on the things around you instead of the road. Manual distractions, such as combing your hair or putting makeup on while driving, require your full attention, meaning you’re not paying attention to anything except what you’re doing at that moment. These activities often require you to use both hands, which means your hands aren’t on the steering wheel.

There are some activities that cause multiple distractions at once, such as adjusting the radio. When you adjust the radio, you may take your eyes off the road, and the steering wheel, and concentrate on the radio’s controls, making this distraction a cognitive, manual, and visual distraction.

Any activity that takes your mind and eyes off the road is a dangerous distraction. New drivers should focus on traveling alone, unless the passenger is a parent, to avoid the dangerous cognitive and visual distractions traveling with friends can cause.

Avoid Using the Phone

Cell phones are a part of most people’s lives. However, when driving, you should not be texting or calling anyone. Using a cell phone while driving is another type of distracted driving. Using your phone to call or text someone is a visual, manual, and cognitive distraction. This factor makes using a cell phone while driving as dangerous as drunk driving! Cell phone use is also a major cause of auto accidents among teenage drivers.

In most states, it is illegal for drivers to use a cell phone while they’re operating a vehicle, even if hands-free is active. If you need to use a cell phone, find a safe location to pull over first.

Learn Defensive Driving Techniques

While knowing the traffic laws of your state is great, it isn’t enough to prevent an auto accident. While you may be following all traffic rules and signs, you can guarantee that other drivers are. Defensive driving techniques are essential to avoid becoming the victim of another driver’s negligent or hazardous behavior.

For instance, keeping a safe following distance of at least 3 seconds can be the difference between being involved in an auto accident and not being in an accident, especially if it’s raining or foggy. Stay alert and watch out for potential hazards, such as aggressive drivers.

Follow the Speed Limit

Speeding is an aggressive driving behavior that causes thousands of accidents. Speeding is dangerous and also against the law. The faster a vehicle is moving, the more time it will take to slow down, which is a problem if the driver is trying to avoid sudden hazards.

Wear Your Seatbelt

You’ve probably heard this advice since you were a little kid. Surprisingly, a lot of drivers still don’t wear their seatbelt! Wearing a seatbelt is essential because it protects the lives of drivers and passengers by reducing the risk of injuries if they are involved in a crash. Seatbelts also prevent drivers and passengers from being thrown from the vehicle if they are involved in an accident. By law, all drivers are required to wear their seatbelts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that seatbelts saved over 14,000 lives in 2023.

Safe Driving Tips for Middle-Aged Drivers

Middle-aged drivers have more experience than teenage drivers, but there are different things you can do to enhance your safety on the road.

Wear Your Seatbelt

We’ve discussed the importance of wearing your seatbelt every time you get behind the wheel. Seatbelts can save lives and prevent injuries, some of which could be fatal.

Choose Safe Traveling Conditions

The weather isn’t always bright and sunny. In unfavorable weather conditions, such as snow and heavy rainfall, if you don’t have to be out driving, stay home. Poor weather conditions and driving at night increase the likelihood of auto accidents.

Don’t Drink and Drive

You should never operate a motor vehicle if you’ve been drinking. Drinking impairs your judgment, coordination, and reaction time, increasing the risk of being involved in an auto accident.

Review the Side Effects of Medications

Prescribed and over-the-counter medications can have side effects that can change your driving ability, such as drowsiness or dizziness. Make sure you read the label of any medication before taking it. If you know you need to run errands that day, ask a close friend or relative to run the errands for you.

Keep Up With Your Eye Health

Don’t forget about your eye health! Have your eyes checked regularly by an eye doctor at least once per year, even if you currently wear glasses or contact lenses. Over time, your vision can change, so make sure you’re taking the necessary precautions to ensure your vision is the best it can be.

Plan Your Routes

As a middle-aged driver, you may notice a few changes in the way you drive or your driving habits. To make things easier for you, plan your routes before driving. Planning your routes allows you to get where you’re going with little to no traffic and other nuances. Also, choose well-lit streets and intersections to travel.

Maintain Your Distance

You may feel like you have too many things to get done in one day, but you still try to get everything done. Instead of rushing while you’re driving, take a deep breath and try to relax. When you’re rushing, everything is the most extreme case, including driving. Rushing causes you to speed and follow other vehicles too closely. Make sure you maintain a safe distance while you’re driving to prevent collisions.

Avoid Distractions

There are so many distractions while you’re driving, especially your phone. Don’t try to text and drive and talk or drive. These are distractions that can lead to serious auto accidents that can be avoided. If there is an emergency, find a safe place to pull over before making a phone call or texting.

Consider Alternatives

Driving alternatives, such as ride-sharing services can be beneficial in different situations, especially if you don’t feel like driving, but still have places to be and things to do. You can also use public transportation. With these transportation alternatives, you don’t have to worry about driving and the frustration and stress it can cause.

Safe Driving Tips for Older Adult Drivers

As an older adult driver, you’re the most experienced on the road. However, with age, a lot of things change over time. Here are different driving tips that can help you be a safer driver on the road.

Always Wear Your Seatbelt

Whether you’re the driver or a passenger, you should always wear your seatbelt. Wearing your seatbelt is an effective way to save your life and reduce your injuries if you’re involved in an auto accident.

Drive When Conditions Are the Safest

It’s best to drive during the day in good weather, so you don’t have to worry too much about things that are out of your control, such as the weather and how some individuals drive in unfavorable weather conditions. You may also want to avoid driving at night. Driving at night could mean poor visibility, which could lead to an accident.

Avoid Drinking and Driving

If you plan on having a night out, no problem! If you’re consuming alcoholic beverages, make sure you have a designated driver beforehand. We’ll also add that you should check all prescribed and any over-the-counter medications you’re taking for possible side effects before driving.

Create a Mobility Plan

Creating a mobility plan can help you maintain your independence as you age. This plan can help reduce the risk of auto accidents and falls. Caregivers and older children can use this mobility plan to help you maintain independence while helping you remain safe.

Create a Fitness Routine

Creating a fitness routine doesn’t have to be anything strenuous, but just enough to keep you moving. Regular activity can increase your strength and flexibility, which can help with your ability to drive.

Review Medications

Keep up with your medications! Your doctor or pharmacist can review your medications and determine if you still need to take them. You can also speak with either of them about the side effects and interactions accompanying these medications.

Avoid Eating and Driving

Many drivers don’t realize that eating and driving is a type of distracted driving. Avoid snacking while driving, as this can create a big mess to clean up and cause an accident. Eat before leaving the house or get food and wait until you get home to eat it.

How to Safely Navigate the Road

Driving can often be frustrating and scary. We’ve provided different expert tips on how you can stay safe on the road.

Make Sure Your Vehicle Can Handle the Trip

When we say make sure your vehicle can handle the trip, we don’t mean make sure your vehicle is a brand new vehicle. We’re talking about maintenance here. Ensure your tire pressure is okay and that the tires are filled with air. You’ll also want to make sure the oil has been changed and your signals are functioning. Whether you’re traveling a short or long distance, you need to make sure your vehicle can handle the trip there and the trip back. You should check the following before taking a trip anywhere:

  • Fluid levels
  • Lights
  • Wipers
  • Tires
  • Brakes
  • Check for leaks
  • Odd noises
  • Strange smells

You can have your vehicle checked by a mechanic to ensure your vehicle is good to go.

Avoid Sleepy and Drowsing

Sleepy and drowsy driving is a serious safety risk that can be avoided. Sleep will always win when you’re driving, especially with long trips. The following signs can help you determine when you need to pullover:

  • Your eyelids are getting heavy
  • You’re having trouble focusing
  • You have difficulty keeping your head up
  • You are daydreaming a lot

If you’re sleepy or feel yourself getting tired, find a safe place to pull over and gather yourself. If you’re on a long trip, plan rest stops or hotels on the way to your destination. Sleep is an essential that your body will get whether you want to sleep or not, so make sure you get enough rest!

Get Rid of Distractions

Staying focused on the road is imperative when you’re driving. A lot of preventable accidents occur because drivers are not focused on the road. There is no such thing as multitasking while driving. If you’re on a long trip and there are other people who can drive, take turns driving, or ask them to handle the task you’re trying to complete so you don’t have to lose focus on the road.

Keep an Emergency Kit In Your Car

Even if you deem yourself the safest driver in the world, you can never account for other drivers, so it’s best to keep an emergency kit in your car. Having an emergency kit is great to have if you’re involved in an accident, become stranded, or waiting for help to arrive. Even if you are a member of a roadside assistance program, such as AAA, you should have an emergency kit in your car that includes the following items:

  • Blankets
  • 1 change of clothes
  • Flashlight
  • First-aid kit
  • Water
  • A fully charged cell phone and list of essential numbers
  • Jumper cables
  • High-visibility jackets and cones
  • Tire-changing essentials

Leave Your Destination Early

If you dread being stuck in traffic like most drivers, leave your destination before or after rush hour. This is also true if you’re worried about being late to a destination. You should never drive when you’re in a rush because it increases the likelihood of you being involved in an accident.

Drive Defensively

Defensive driving is essential for safely navigating the road. Whether you’re a new driver or have experience driving, defensive driving can help you avoid being involved in an auto accident.

One part of defensive driving is about being aware of other drivers and their actions. The other part of defensive driving is being prepared to react appropriately in different situations. For example, if a driver is speeding, driving defensively means removing yourself from this dangerous situation as soon as possible.

To master driving defensively, remember these tips:

  • Keep your eyes on the road and other drivers
  • Learn where your blind spots are in a vehicle and how to check them safely
  • Watch for signs of aggressive driving
  • Keep your distance from drivers who exhibit aggressive driving behavior

Defensive driving can be difficult, however, it’s not impossible. It may be difficult at first to focus your attention on these specific instances, but you’ll get it the more you practice.

It’s important that you don’t challenge other drivers, especially if they’re showing signs of aggression. Your safety is more important than challenging another driver with conflict.

Keep Enough Distance Between You and the Vehicle In Front of You

Keeping distance between you and the vehicle in front of you is important because you can avoid accidents and other hazards on the road that may occur. Keeping a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you gives you time to react in the event of a dangerous situation, helping you avoid accidents and injuries, especially if you’re driving in severe weather conditions, such as fog, rain, hail, or snow.

Declutter Your Vehicle

Part of being a responsible driver is keeping your car clean. Having a cluttered vehicle, such as empty water bottles or soda cans, can wedge between the brake and accelerator, making it difficult or impossible to bring your vehicle to a stop in time to prevent an accident.

When your vehicle is clean, you’re not focused on continuously moving items out of the way to drive. Keep a small trash bag in your vehicle to properly dispose of trash. Empty the trash every day to ensure your vehicle remains free of trash and clutter.

Store Your Items Appropriately

Speaking of decluttering your vehicle, let’s talk about storing your items properly. If you’re on the road a lot, such as traveling for work, there’s a good chance you have different items you keep in your car at all times. Regardless of what these items are, you should keep them organized and secured to prevent them from rolling around in your vehicle and becoming a hazard.

The good news is many of your items can be safely and securely stored in your trunk. If you have smaller items, you may be able to keep them on the floor behind the driver or passenger seat but ensure these items are secure.

For example, if you have any items that are likely to move around while you’re driving, make sure you take the proper precautions to keep them in place. Car organizers are great to use if you have items of different sizes in your vehicle.

Most car organizers have 2 to 3 compartments that allow you to store different items you may need without cluttering your vehicle. You don’t have to worry about these items falling on the floor of your vehicle or rolling under your feet.

When you’re storing your items, make sure everything is secure. Keep important items near you. If an item does fall, don’t reach to pick it up while you’re driving.

Plan Your Route

Whether you’re going to work or to run errands, plan your route. Planning your route may seem unnecessary, but you’d be surprised at how much time and money you can save. When you plan your route, you can safely avoid traffic and wasting gas by reducing your travel time and avoiding traveling on highways.

In some instances, avoiding the highway isn’t possible, and that’s okay. However, there is often more than one route that can get you where you want to go in less time with less frustration than traveling on the highway.

There are different navigation apps that can help you find alternate routes to your destinations. When you’re on the road less, you are less likely to be involved in an auto accident, and there’s less wear and tear on your vehicle.

Understand What Hands-Free Means

When people hear the term “hands-free”, they automatically assume they are 100% safe from being involved in an accident because they aren’t holding their cell phones while driving. This is a myth! There are hazards everywhere when you’re driving, whether you’re a great driver, a poor driver, following the rules of the road, or not following the rules of the road.

While it’s great that you’re not holding your phone while driving, it doesn’t stop the fact that you are still using your phone. It’s easy to get lost in conversation and lose focus on the road when you’re having a conversation with someone. The hands-free feature makes it more convenient to use the phone while you’re driving, and that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Be Prepared for Bad Weather

Sometimes bad weather can suddenly occur and other times you know bad weather is on the way. In either scenario, the best thing you can do is be prepared. As a driver, you are responsible for your actions on the road, and driving in bad weather means you’ll need to change some of your driving habits.

When it’s raining, you need to slow down. During the first few minutes of rainfall, the road is slick and wet, creating slippery road conditions. Speeding is strongly not advised. With slick roads, it can be more difficult to stop your vehicle, which could cause an accident.

Also, remember that decreasing your speed can mean traveling below the posted speed limit. Sometimes traveling at the posted speed limit during unfavorable weather conditions can put you at risk of being involved in an accident. Decrease your speed and put more distance than you normally would between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.

If it’s foggy, especially during the early morning hours, use your fog lights instead of your headlights. Fog creates low visibility, making it harder for other drivers to see in front of them. If you’re driving in snowy or icy conditions, decrease your speed and watch for black ice.

Regardless of the age group you’re in as a driver, staying safe on the road is essential, and it’s your responsibility to ensure you’re being a safe driver. Keep the road safety tips we’ve discussed in mind as you embark on new adventures. Stay safe and happy driving!