Health, wellbeing and driving
Many things can make driving more difficult. Be aware of these so you stay safe on the road. Below there we look at your health and well-being in relation to driving.
Pain, flexibility and strength
Stiffness, pain or weakness can affect your driving by making it difficult to turn your head to look around you or reach or use the controls. A simple exercise programme can help keep you strong and flexible. Ask your doctor or physiotherapist.
Your eyesight changes in later life and this may make it harder to see road signs and other road users, especially in low light. Look out especially for motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. You may also find it harder to judge your speed or the speed of other road users and to switch your focus between the road and the instruments.
- "There's more cars these days, more signs."
- "I'm not comfortable at night any more."
- "Everything's so fast, it's hard to keep up."
- "It's the other drivers. People are so rude these days, less patient."
Concentration and reactions
You may find it more difficult to concentrate on your driving, and to keep your attention on the right things. Your reactions may get slower and you may find it harder to process information as quickly as you need to.
Medicines can affect your ability to react quickly and think clearly when you're driving. Check with your doctor about any medicines you have been prescribed. Driving under the influence of drugs is a criminal offence, even if they have been prescribed by a doctor, so always read the instructions and ask your doctor if in any doubt.
If you have major concerns, then contact your local mobility centre who can offer specialist advise and assessments. To find your local centre, go to Driving Mobility (the network of Mobility Centres)
Last updated: December 2018