How do you know if you should stop driving?

You may see no need to stop driving when you enter your 60s, 70s or even your 80s. A car can help you stay independent, for sure.

Yet, there may come a point when the responsible thing to do is to stop. Here are some of the reasons why:


Eyesight weakens as you age, so it is important to ensure you can still see well enough to drive and to wear glasses if you are meant to. Kentucky requires drivers to take a vision test when they renew their license, which they can do every four or eight years. However, unlike some states, there are no specific rules or restrictions regarding older drivers.

Slower reactions

Things can change in a split second on the road. One moment, it is all clear, then the next, someone is running into the road, reversing out of their driveway, pulling into your lane or slamming on their brakes. The slower your reactions, the less likely you are to avoid a collision. Aging reduces the ability to react fast.

Less strength 

You don’t need to be particularly strong to drive a car, but you do need the strength to turn the wheel and depress the pedals. When you were in your prime, you could probably stamp hard on the brake if needed, bringing the car to a halt rapidly. Strength will reduce with age, so you may no longer be able to stop as fast in an emergency.

If you are unsure whether you are still OK to drive, consider getting a medical opinion or even the opinion of a passenger you trust. Remember, it’s not just about avoiding causing a crash – it’s about your ability to avoid one someone else may cause. Injuries can be more severe and harder to get over when you are older, and no amount of compensation can really make up for the pain and inconvenience this could cause.


FindLaw Network