Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

3 Defensive Driving Techniques for Seniors

Much like senior living offers a chance to adapt your environment for continued comfort and safety, defensive driving is a skill that can be learned and honed so that you stay confident and secure on the road. Really, you can significantly enhance your control and preparedness behind the wheel. 

Here are 3 helpful tips. 

Use Advanced Safety Features

As we age, our reaction times, vision, and hearing can really take a hit, making it tough to respond quickly to road hazards. This is where advanced safety features in modern vehicles come in handy.


  • You want to read the vehicle’s manual or consult with the dealership to understand all the available safety features. Many dealerships offer demonstrations and instructional sessions.
  • Configure settings like sensitivity levels for lane departure warnings and the volume for auditory alerts to suit your preferences and needs.
  • Spend time in a safe, controlled environment (like an empty parking lot) to get accustomed to the alerts and how the car reacts. This practice helps you to respond naturally when driving in real conditions.
  • As technology evolves, consider updating your vehicle or adding aftermarket safety systems to older cars. Stay informed about new features that could enhance your driving safety.

Regularly Assess Vision and Hearing

Even with handy tech, good vision and hearing are critical for detecting and responding to road signs, signals, and other vehicles. And so regular assessments mean any issues are identified and corrected, maintaining your ability to drive safely.


  • You want to make annual appointments with an optometrist and audiologist. Let them know that you drive regularly, so they can tailor their assessments accordingly.
  • Keep your windshield, mirrors, and windows clean. Adjust your seat height and position to maximize your view of the road. Use anti-glare coatings on your glasses and make sure your car’s mirrors are correctly positioned to minimize blind spots.
  • Be attentive to any changes, such as difficulty seeing at night or hearing sirens. If you notice changes, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider immediately.

Take Refresher Driving Courses

Refresher driving courses for seniors provide updates on current traffic laws, introduce new driving techniques, and address the physical and cognitive changes that can affect driving ability. These courses can really boost your confidence and improve safety.


  • You want to look for senior-focused driving courses offered by organizations like AARP, local driving schools, or community centers. These courses are often specifically designed to address the needs of older drivers.
  • Choose courses that offer behind-the-wheel practice. Practical sessions with an instructor can provide valuable, hands-on experience and personalized feedback.
  • After completing the course, regularly review what you’ve learned. Apply the new techniques and practices in your daily driving, and share insights with fellow senior drivers to promote community safety.

Really, defensive driving is an important skill to have as a senior. Consider these tips. 

Comments are closed.