Driving Into Old Age: Useful Tips for Elderly Drivers in Leeds

Once you get your licence, providing that you stay in good health, you are usually allowed to keep driving until you reach your 70th birthday. This is when your licence will expire, and you will need to apply for renewal.

There is no age limit for drivers in the UK, but there are some rules that apply to elderly people and which are in place to ensure that you, your fellow passengers and the other motorists on the road can be safe.

How to Renew Your Licence If You’re 70

First of all, it is time to debunk the myth: you do not need to retake your driving test once you turn 70. All you have to do is to renew your licence.

Nevertheless, there is no legal age at which you have to stop driving. Consequently, it is your responsibility to decide whether you are still fit enough to use your car. By law, you need to renew your licence when you reach the age of 70, and then every three years after that, until you decide to stop driving.

Ninety days before your 70th birthday, the DVLA will send you a D46P Application for renewal of a driving license.

Elderly Drivers in Leeds: How to Get an Assessment of Your Driving Skills

Even though you first passed your test when you were younger, your driving skills may need to be professionally assessed once again.

If you are concerned about your driving skill, you can either talk to your GP or book an Experienced Driver Assessment in Leeds with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. This is available for motorists of all ages. At the end of the evaluation, you will receive a report on your driving, with useful suggestions on how you can improve your skills to drive safely.

Additional assessments, advice and training are also offered by organisations and charities, including your local Driving Mobility centre and the Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF).

Find the Right Car

You and your car have travelled many miles together, but it may be time for you to adapt to this new phase of your life. There are several problems that can be solved by making minor adaptations to your car. For example, you can fit auxiliary mirrors to aid all-round vision or parking sensors.

Nevertheless, if adaptations aren’t possible or sufficient to offer you the proper aid, you might want to consider switching to a different model. Many elderly motorists in Leeds are now happily driving smaller or easier to manoeuvre cars.  You might also want to consider an automatic car or one with power-assisted steering.

Keep an Eye on Your Health

All drivers, regardless of their age, must notify the DVLA of the worsening of any medical condition which may affect their ability to drive. This includes:

  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart condition
  • Certain eye conditions
  • Parkinson’s Disease

Address your Weaknesses

When it comes to driving, we all have our weaknesses and difficulties. However, this should never make you question your driving confidence since there are several solutions available.

For example, if you are facing limited mobility, you can still enjoy your time behind the wheel and drive safely.  You can make some specific adaptation to your cars, such as specially-shaped pedals, or seat-lifts to ease access in and out of the car.

If any driving situation makes you uncomfortable, you should just avoid it. This includes staying off freeways and highways, not driving in bad weather or at night and, most importantly, seeking help if necessary.

Drive Defensively

Elderly drivers should take some extra steps to drive safely, such as:

  • Paying more attention at intersections;
  • Leaving adequate space for the car in front of you to allow sufficient braking distance.
  • Avoiding any distraction while driving, including talking on the phone, chatting with your passengers, or consulting a map.

Main Risks for Elderly Drivers in Leeds

Eyesight

Whether your age, you must always be certain that your eyesight is good. Our eyesight tends to deteriorate as we age, making us less able to see what is happening on the road and react in time. Besides, poor eyesight can be a disruptive problem either at night or on bright days, when our eyes can be affected by dazzling sunlight.

We recommend elderly drivers in Leeds to get their eye tested at least annually. This service, which is usually free for those ages over 60, can check for problems in your central or peripheral vision, and catch any conditions before they get worse.

Hearing

Hearing begins to deteriorate from age 30-40. For this reason, older drivers should have a hearing test at least annually. Don’t forget that good hearing is essential for always being aware of potential hazards while driving.

Movement

When we age, we may start suffering from joint and muscle stiffness. This can make it more difficult to drive, focus on the road, or make sure that the way is clear before reversing.

In many cases, you can adjust your seat and steering column position. Extra blind spot mirrors and other technological solutions can also come in handy to help elderly drivers.

 

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Nancy Furtado Roundhay, Leeds

"Having had a different driving instructor prior to join AIM Driving School! The difference is immediately noticeable. Ashvin teaches with a lot of patience and explains things in detail. I felt a lore more confident in my driving. Clearly this helped me a lot in passing my driving test and would recommend this driving school to others"

Neha Pandey Chapel Allerton, Leeds

"I was recommended by my dad who also learned and passed with Ashvin. Learning with Ashvin meant learning from someone who has had numerous years of teaching experience.

You get to learn how to drive safely and the most efficient. All manoeuvres are taught in such a simple and easy way that anyone can learn and carry out.

The best thing about learning with Ashvin is that he knows what the instructor/examine is going to be looking for so he knows how to prepare his students like he carried out various mock tests to get me to increase confidence in driving by myself and helping me understand exactly how the driving test will be structured. As a result of his well preparation I passed first time."

Burhan Sied Headingley

"Just like to say that Ash is a great instructor. He pushes you to the limit which makes you to focus on what you are doing, so you develop all skills you need to feel confident behind the wheel. He also doesn't waste your money as other instructors do and makes that money you spend worthwhile. Ash made it seem easy and with his positive attitude, it made it a lot easier to achieve my goal of passing my test. Thanks Ash!"

 

Jonny Adams Pudsey, Leeds

"I contacted Ash because of the introductory offer to new drivers. He arranged my first lesson at a time best suited for myself, and this remained the case for each lesson I had. Lessons were specific to the strengths and weaknesses of my driving at the time, whilst continually reinforcing safe driving.

Ash is well prepared for each lesson, and does not waste your time with personal requests like other instructors can do. He has a vast array of resources to help demonstrate every aspect of the lesson, including google map print outs of junctions and t est routes. ASh is extremely personable and relaxed. He is a very experienced instructors and his ability to approach different aspects of driving in a manner that suits the individual helps get you to a test quickly"

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