Top tips to keep you driving as you age

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The convenience of owning a motor vehicle is undeniable, but as we start to get older driving around becomes a little riskier. This isn’t necessarily a deterioration of skill or physical ability, but rather a reflection of the risks associated with sharing the road. As Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission notes, “Drivers aged 75 years or over have a higher risk (per distance travelled) of being killed in a crash than any other age group.” 

Knowing what’s required of you as a motorist, understanding your limitations and having a reliable, comprehensive car insurance policy, like Over60 Car Insurance, will help you continue to enjoy the privilege of driving a vehicle at any age. 

It’s important that if you’re driving over the age of 60, you’re doing so in a manner that’s not going to put you or others at risk. Here are six tips for driving as a senior. 

​You may have been driving for a long time but is your road rules knowledge as sharp as it could be? Take our quiz and see how you fare in the driving stakes.

1. Make sure you have the right car insurance policy 

You might be a safe driver, but that doesn’t mean everyone else on the road is. To ensure you’re covered for accidents whether they are your fault or not, it pays to have a reliable, comprehensive car insurance policy. Whether you’re taking a grey nomad road trip or just picking your grandkids up from school, the right car insurance policy ensures you can enjoy the convenience of driving a vehicle with peace of mind. 

2. Be aware of your licence requirements

Every state has different rules when it comes to senior drivers. In some states, you may be required to perform an assessment when renewing your licence. In others, you’re legally obliged to report any physical or mental conditions that may impair your ability to drive. 

3. Adopt a strategic approach in your driving

In 2015, a fact sheet released by the Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety (CARR), states, “Crashes where older drivers are considered to be most at fault tend to be the result of poor decision making or a failure to detect and act on important information.”

A strategic approach, where you limit your driving to times outside peak periods where decisions can be made under less duress, is a great way to eliminate this risk. 

4. Consider a defensive driving course

Odds are it’s been a while since you first sat for your driving exam, so a defensive driving course might be just what the doctor ordered. Not only will this give you a chance to brush up on your road abilities, it will also equip you with strategies to deal with any nasty situations that might occur while you’re driving on the road. 

5. Make sure you’re up to date with the road rules

Road rules change more often than you might think, and if you’re going to be sharing the road with other motorists it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re up to speed. CARR recommends you, “Obtain a copy of the latest road rules and check your knowledge is current.”

6. Be honest with yourself

As stated in the CARR fact sheet, “Although the risk of being involved in a crash is lower amongst senior adults in terms of rate per population, the risk of being killed when a crash occurs is much greater due to increased fragility.”

While there are many advantages to driving as a senior, even if you are a safe driver you may be putting yourself at risk. Being honest with yourself, not just about your skills, but limitations, is the best way to figure out whether you should continue driving.

Whether you’re planning the ultimate grey nomad road trip or simply just looking to pick the grand-kids up from school, a reliable vehicle is an important part of senior life. Over60 understands the needs of senior drivers, offering a range of car insurance policies that are not only tailored to meet your circumstances, but designed to reward good drivers with competitive prices. To find out how you can get 25 per cent off your next car insurance policy with Over60, click here.