Older drivers

An older woman driving her carDrivers over 60 account for 19% of deaths and 17% of serious injuries, and are more likely to crash in 60 and 70km/h zones. They are the fastest growing age group of drivers on the road and this partly explains recent increases in the number of serious injuries.

As we age our bodies physical and mental changes can affect our ability to respond to and recover from a crash; injuries can take much longer to heal.

While older people tend to be experienced and capable drivers, ageing and certain medication can affect how well they can respond to situations when driving. This includes:

  • slower reaction times
  • a loss of clarity in vision and hearing
  • a loss of muscle strength and flexibility
  • drowsiness from the use of prescription drugs.

How we’re making roads safer for older drivers

We’re encouraging drivers to self-regulate or talk to health professionals about their ability to drive safely. Drivers may consider restricting driving to certain circumstances, to retiring from driving and getting support for alternative transport. We’ll provide tools and information to support drivers, families and health professionals, including online medical reports and assessments to help keep older drivers safe on the road.

Find out more about how we’re making roads safer for those most vulnerable in crashes.

What older drivers can do to keep safe

  • Use public transport or drive to the closest, most convenient form of public transport
  • Try to limit driving to off-peak periods
  • Plan shorter driving periods, and rest along the way
  • Try to drive only in daylight hours
  • Try to avoid non signalled right hand turns where possible
  • Get a few refresher driving lessons
  • Have your eyes tested at least once every two years and make sure your optometrist knows that you drive
  • Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about any effect your medication may have on your driving
  • Choose the safest route, rather than the most direct one
  • Make sure you always wear your seatbelt and ensure child restraints for your grandchildren are properly used and always used.