Search this site
Article Listings
Active Living
Full Listing with story descriptions
A Healthy Balance
Ankle Sprains
Active Kids, Healthy Kids
Active Kids in Winter
Athletic Skin Infections
Children, Nutrition and Exercise
Beat the Heat!
Cold Comfort
Cold Weather Workouts
Concussion in Sport
Core Stability
Cross Country Skiing
Exercise and Disabilities
Exercise at Every Age
Exercise in the Heat
Exercise is Medicine
Exercise Options
Exercising in Pregnancy
Female Athletes
FITT Prescription
Footwear for Running
From Surviving to Thriving
Gadgets and Gizmos
Get Moving!
Get Motivated
Golf Exercises
Golf Injury Prevention
Head Injuries
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Hockey Injuries
Home Gyms
Jump Start Weight Loss
Knee Cap Pain
Knee Ligament Injuries
Live Actively
Low Back Pain
Osteoporosis and Exercise
Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Plantar Fasciitis
Prehistoric Workout
Recreational Safety Equipment
Safe Snow Shovelling
Shin Splints
Ski Conditioning
Sore Elbow
Sore Shoulder
Spinal Cord Injuries
Staying Active
Staying Fit in the Cold
Sports Nutrition and Supplements
Strength Training
Swimming Injuries
Teen Sports Injuries
Tendon Troubles
Water and Exercise
Weight Training
7 Wonders of Walking
Adolescent Health
Full Listing with story descriptions
Adolescent Behaviour Problems
Adolescent Growth and Development
Body Image
Body Piercing
Chronic Diseases in Teens
Communications Skills
Concussion in Sport
Cosmetics and Skincare
Dangers of Artificial Tanning
Drug Use
Female Physical Exam
First Period
Internet Safety
Junior High
Mentoring to Quit Smoking
Parent-Teen Communication
Parent -Teen Interaction Patterns
Personal Care
Psychological Assessment
School Problems
Self Esteem
Self Esteem and Body Image
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Talking About Sex
Taking Chances
Teaching Respect
Teens and Smoking
Teenage Blues
Teen Bedwetting
Teen Drivers
Teen Girls
Teen Health
Teen Immunization
Teen Independence
Teen Rebellion
Teens and Divorce
Teenagers and Sexual Issues
Teens and Exercise
Water and Exercise
A Woman's Physical
Your First Job
Youth Violence
Ask the Doctor
Aspirin Every Day?
Cost of Doctor's Visit
Does My Sore Knee Require an MRI?
Do I Need a Bone Density Test?
Do I Need an Annual Physical?
Genetic Screening in Pregnancy
My Doctor Says I Need a Test
My Doctor Diagnosed Osteoarthritis
Restore Your Core
Should I Exercise During pregnancy?
Vaccination Controversies
Zika Virus Infection
Full Listing with story descriptions
Advice from the Maternity Clinic
Advice from the Maternity Clinic (Part 2)
Alcohol in Pregnancy
Building a Better Baby
Birthing Etiquette
Birth Plans
Birthing Procedure Trends
Bleeding in Pregnancy
Blood Pressure
Breastfeeding Benefits
Caesarean Section by Request
Care for the New Mother
Cord Blood Banking
Delaying Motherhood
Blue after Baby or Postpartum Depression
Diabetes in Pregnancy
Eating Well for Pregnancy
Evolving Ideas about Pregnancy and Birth
Exercise During Pregnancy
Flying During Pregnancy
Folic Acid in Pregnancy
High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy
Getting a latch on breastfeeding
Group B Streptococcus
Induction of Labour
Infections During Pregnancy
Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)
In-Vitro Fertilization
Low Birth Weight Babies
Maternity and parental leave
Medication and Pregnancy
Managing Your Own Labour
Monitoring Your Labour
Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy
Pain Relief in Labour
Prenatal Classes
Preterm Labour
Planning a Pregnancy
Prenatal Care Providers
Postpartum Repetitive Strain Injuries
RH Disease
Rupture of Membranes Before Labour
Sex During Pregnancy
Skin Changes in Pregnancy
Smoking and Pregnancy
Support During Labour
Travelling While Pregnant
Ultrasound for Fun and Photos
Natural Remedies in Pregnancy
Pregnancy Weight Gain
Vaccinations During Pregnancy
Vacuum and Forceps for Delivery
Vaginal Birth After Caesarean
When Baby Comes Home
Full Listing with story descriptions
Asthma in Children
Attention Deficit Disorder
Bedtime Battles
Bed Wetting & Toilet Training
Childcare Options
Children's Headaches
Childhood Obesity
Choosing A Babysitter
Colds and Flu
Common Childhood Skin Infections
Developmental Milestones
Diaper Rash
Daytime Wetting
Developmental Co-ordination Disorder
Feeding Your Baby
Feeding Your Toddler
Head Lice
How Children Grow
Hearing Loss
Hearing Issues in Newborns
Heart Murmers
Hip Clicks
Influenza and the Common Cold
Is it an Emergency?
Children and Sports Injuries
Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)
Learning Disabilities
Leg Problems
Preparing for Lab Tests
Red Rashes
RSV-Childhood Respiratory Virus
Safe Summer Fun
Sick Toddler
Sleep Struggles
Sniffles, Fevers, Rashes and Coughs
Introducing Solid Foods
Sore Throats
Speech Problems
Strep Throat
Toddler Safety
Tooth Injuries
Travelling with Children
Urinary Tract Infections
Vaccination and Autism
When to go to the Doctor
Whooping Cough
Worried Sick
Yeast Infections in Children
Chronic Pain
Full Listing with story descriptions
Managing Your Pain
Movement Matters
Moving Forward
Pain Medications
Returning to Work
Understanding and Goal Setting
When Pain Doesn't End
Dental Health
Full Listing with story descriptions
Antibiotics and Dental Surgery
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Baby Teeth
Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Children's Dental Injuries
Choosing a Dentist
Cosmetic Dentistry
Mouth Guards
Dental Exam
Dental Care Devices
Dental Caries
Dental Implants
Dental Patient Treatment Decisions
Dental X-Rays
Dental care tips for babies
Dentures and Healthy Jaw
Esthetic Dentistry
Fluoride Findings
First Dental Visit
A Healthy Mouth
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body
Jaw Joint and Muscle Problems
Keeping it Clean
Laser Use in Dentistry
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral health and long term care
Oral Health Care Products
Orthodontist First Visit
Painless Dentistry
Periodontal Disease
Removable Dentures
Root Canal
Seniors Oral Care
Sensitive Teeth
Sore Mouth, Aching Jaw
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Teeth for Life
Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)
Tobacco Risks to Oral Health
Tongue Piercing
Tooth Whitening
Travel Dentistry
Water Fluoridation
Wisdom Teeth
Your Healthy Smile
Full Listing with story descriptions
10,000 Steps
A1C Test
A Diabetes Success Story
ABCs of Diabetes Management
Alternate Site Testing
Artery Health
ASA Therapy
Benefits of Insulin
Benefits of Breakfast
Benefits of Physical Activity
Blood Glucose Management
Blood Glucose Medications
Blood Glucose Myths
Blood Glucose Testing
Blood Sugar Lows
Blood Glucose Monitors
C-Peptide Testing
New Canada Food Guide
Carbohydrate Counting
Catastrophic Drug Plan
CDA Guidelines for Diabetes
Celiac Disease and Diabetes
Celebrating Health
Childhood Diagnosis of Diabetes
Children and Type 2 Diabetes
Cholesterol-lowering Medications
Colds and Diabetes
Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring
Cutting Edge
Dangers of Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure
Driving and Diabetes
Diabetes and Menopause
Diabetes Care Team
Diabetes and Depression
Diabetes Distress
Diabetes Eating on a Shoestring Budget
Diabetes Etiquette
Diabetes and Oral Health
Diabetes and Thyroid Disease
Diabetes and Your Mouth
Diabetes and Your Eyes
Diabetes in Cats
Diabetes in Dogs
Diabetes Management ABCs
Diabetes Meter Technicians
Diabetes Myths
Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Diabetic Retinopathy
Diet Tips for South Asians
Dining Out with Diabetes
Drinking and Diabetes
Eating Disorders
Easing the Strain of Stress
Eating Mindfully
Eating to Protect Your Kidneys
Eating Well During Shift Work
Eggs in a Diabetic Diet
Emotional Eating
Emotions of Diabetes Diagnosis
Erectile Dysfunction
Exercise Excuses
Why Fad Diets Fail
Fill Your Day with Energy
Diabetic Retinopathy
Food Temptation
Foot Care & Diabetes
Foot Health
Footwear and Foot Health
Fruits and Veggies
Gestational Diabetes
Get Active
Get Physical
Gift Ideas
Glucose Meters
Glycemic Index and Glycemic Loads
The Glycemic Index
Going Green in the Kitchen
Going Home from the Hospital
Grocery Shopping Tips
Holiday Party Survival Guide
Holiday Eating Tips
Health Information on the 'Net
Happy Healthy Holidays
Healthy Beverage Choices
Health Benefits of Soy
Healthy Restaurant Meals
Heart Health
High Blood Pressure and Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
HbA1c Test
Healthy Eating for Active People
High Blood Lipids
Home from the Hospital
Home Alone and Sick
Hypoglycemic Unawareness
Impaired Glucose Tolerance
Immunization and Diabetes
Incretins-a Hormone Treatment
Improving Injections
Injecting Insulin
Insulin Discovery-The Story
Insulin Handling
Insulin - the Key to Energy Management
Insulin Pumps
Insulin Pen Needles
Insulin Pump Infusion Sets
Insulin Pump Therapy
Immunization and Diabetes
Internet Health Sites
Islet Cell Transplantation
Kidney Disease - Reducing the Risk
Living Powerfully with Diabetes
Low Blood Glucose
Managing Diabetes
Managing Blood Glucose
Mental Health and Diabetes
Nutrition Food Labels
Meal Planning
Your Medication Expert
Medication Research Studies
Metabolic Syndrome
New Diabetes Technologies
New Medications to Help Manage Diabetes
Natural Medicines and Diabetes
No Need for Insulin?
Not Snoozing
Oral Health and Diabetes
Osteoporosis and Diabetes
Diabetes and OTC Medications
Patient-Centered Care
Pedicure Precautions
Pain of Walking - Peripheral Arterial Disease
Pet Diabetes
Planning for Pregnancy
Prebiotics and Probiotics
Preparing for Activity
Putting off Insulin
Reducing Stress of Surgery
Safe and Successful Travel
Schizophrenia and Diabetes
Setting Health Goals
Setting Goals for Physical Activity
Sharps Disposal
Shorter Insulin Needles
Sleep - a Missing Link
Smart Snacking
Smart Summer Nutrition
Snack Bars
Snacking with Diabetes
Social Media and Diabetes
Stress and Diabetes
Success in School
Supporting Spouse with Diabetes
Sugar, Carbs and Blood Glucose Control
Think Positive with Diabetes
Tiny Bites Equal Big Calories
Travelling with Diabetes
Tips for a Better You
Tobacco Use and Diabetes
Top 10 Reasons to Exercise
Treating Low Blood Glucose
Treating Hypoglycemia - Role of Glucagon
Tune up Your Diet
Type 1.5 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
Understanding Diabetes
Understanding Diabetes Medications
Urinary Incontinence
Vacationing with Diabetes
Vegetarian Eating for Diabetes
Vitamin D
Wonderful Water
World Diabetes Day
Working Toward a Cure
Your Medicine Cupboard
Zimbabwe Hand Jive
Family Medicine
Full Listing with story descriptions
ADHD in Children
Allergic Rhinitis
Antibiotic Use
Aspirin Every Day?
Back Pain
Back Pain Myths
Back Pain - Lower
Birth Control
Bladder Problems
Blood Transfusions
Breaast and Prostate Cancer Screening
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Colon Cancer Screening
Contact Lenses
Decision Making Capacity Assessment
Diabetes Management
Diagnostic Tests
Doctor Visit
Driving Vision
Dealing with Dry Eyes
Electronic Medical Records
Eye Exam
Family Doctor
Flash Glucose Monitoring
Floaters and Flashes
Food Poisoning
5 Ways to Stay Healthy
Get Active!
Healthcare Teams
Heart Health
Hepatitis C
Human Papilloma Virus
High Blood Pressure
How to Talk to Your Doctor
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Joint Replacement Surgery
Kidney Disease
Lazy Eye Blindness (Amblyopia)
Medical Digital Technology
Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Myeloma
Opioid Myths
Primary Healthcare Reform
Prostate Problems
Quitting Smoking
Red Eyes
Respiratory Tract Infections
Screening Tests
Special Diagnostic Tests
Sports Eye Injuries
Stopping Stroke
Urine Tests
Win by Losing
Urinary Incontinence
Urinary Tract Infections
Vision Flickers
First Aid
Full Listing with story descriptions
Bites and Stings
Cuts and Scrapes
Emergency Care Guidelines
Eye Injuries
Fainting and Convulsions
First Aid Travel Kit
Hypothermia and Frostbite
Poisoning - Household
Growing Older
Full Listing with story descriptions
Advance Care Plans
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Aging Gracefully
Alzheimer Disease
Avoiding Memory Loss
Building Strength
Caring for the Caregiver
Can I see Well Enough to Drive?
Cataract Surgery Advances
Congestive Heart Failure
Coping with Dementia
Controlling Medications
Diagnosing Dementia
Dementia and Agitation
Dizziness (Vertigo)
Eating Well
Elder Abuse
Exercise Benefits
Erectile Dysfunction
Eye Care
Eyesight and Driving
Fungal Nail Infections
Get Active!
Have Health, Will Travel
Health Tips for Seniors
Joint Replacement
Lab Tests
Living Longer With Diabetes
Macular Degeneration
Male Menopause (Andropause)
Maintaining Quality of Life as You Age
Memory Loss
New Corneal Treatments
Nutrition for Seniors
Parkinson Disease
Problem Gambling
Prostate Health
Seniors and Medications
Senior Sexuality
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Screening Tests
Seniors and Driving
Skin Structure
Skin Protection
Skin Over 50
Solving Sleep Issues
Staying Healthy
Stroke Prevention
Travel Tips for Snowbirds
Wills and Personal Directives
Modern Living
Full Listing with story descriptions
Adult ADHD
Aging and Memory
Alcohol and Your Health
Anger Management
Barbecue Basics
Bathtub Safety
Binge Drinking
Bisphenol A
Canada's New Blood System
Caring for a Loved One Dying at Home
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Computer Stress
Coping With Change
Cosmetic Surgery
Cosmetic Pesticides
Diabetes Epidemic
Diseases from Pets
Dying at Home
Erectile Dysfunction New Treatments
Exotic Travel
Fertility Issues
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Foodborne Illness
Flu Pandemic
Healing Through Music
Healthy Computing
Ice Safety
Indoor Air Quality
Mature Student
Melamine in Food
Middle Age Health
Mind-Body Connection
Mom Time
Money Matters
Outdoor Workers and Sun Safety
Patient Safety in the Hospital
Pets and Health Benefits
Pet Therapy
Physiotherapy Visit
Planning for End of LIfe
Reproductive Freedom
Safe Drinking Water
Sandals in January (Winter Tires)
Smokeless Tobacco
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Stigma of Mental Illness
Street Drugs
Stressed or Depressed?
Stress in the Workplace
Stress Leave
Swim to Survive
Time Management
Travel Health Protection
Travel Comfort Tips
Travel Immunization
Understanding Change
Vaccination Controversies
Wind Chill Index
Workplace Drug Testing
Workplace Health
Full Listing with story descriptions
5 Myths about Nutrition and Diabetes
5 Tips to Manage Weight
10 Ways to Cut Down on Fat
Battle the Bulge
Boost Your Bone Strength
Body Image
Begin with Breakfast
Bowel Health
Building Your Bones
Celiac Disease
Challenging the Milk Myth
Diet Reality Check
Drink Up!
Eating Smarter and Cheaper
Energy Drinks
Food Allergies
Food for Active Kids
Fast Food
Food Labels
Giving Up Gluten
Healthy Diet, Healthy Smile
Healthy Eating for Boomers and Zoomers
Healthy Eating for Seniors
Healthy Eating on Business Travel
Healthy Ethnic Meals
Fad Diets
Fruits and Veggies - 5-10 a Day
Fat Phobias
Fats and Cholesterol
Feeding Your Kids
Food Chemistry 101
Food and Mood
Getting Kids to MOVE
Healthy Eating for Teens
Healthy Habits
Herbal Medicine and Nutrition
New Ingredients for Your Shopping Cart
Kid's Food
Liquid Candy
Meal Planning with Planned Overs
Meal Planning for Busy Families
Mercury Levels in Fish
Night Snacking
Night Shift Eating
Nutrition on the Net
Nutrition Myths Busted
Nutrition Questions Top 5
Nutrition for Menopause
Essential Omega-3
Preventing Cancer Through Nutrition
Picky Eaters
Power of Fruits and Veggies
Portion Control
Power Lunch
PMS and Nutrition
Preparing for Surgery
Reducing High Blood Pressure
Replacement Meals
Sensible Snacking
Sodium and Blood Pressure
Sports-Minded Nutrition
Sugar Substitutes
Survive and Thrive
Teen Nutrition
Tips for a SuperDiet
Understanding Food Biotechnology
Vacation Eating
Vitamins D
Vitamins and Minerals
Vegetarian Diet
Weight Loss Wisdom
Weight Loss
Weight Wise Tips
Pharmacy Care
Full Listing with story descriptions
After a Heart Attack
Adverse Drug Reactions
Adult Vaccinations
Allergy Attack
Antibiotic Overuse
New Anticoagulant Medications
Inhaled Asthma medications
Arthritis Medications
Biological Response Modifiers
Blood Pressure Monitoring
Blood Thinners
Calcium and Iron Supplements
Changing Role of the Pharmacist
Children's Cold Remedies
Child's Fever
Choosing Sunscreens
Cold Relief
Cold Sores
Constipation and Haemorrhoids
Diuretics and Potassium Supplements
Drug Recalls and Withdrawals
Drug Interactions
Emergency Contraception
Erectile Dysfunction
Expanding Role of Pharmacies
Eye Protection - Sunglasses
Feminine Hygiene
Generic or Name Brand?
Heart Health
Kids and Cold Medications
Medication Questions?
Metabolic Syndrome
Natural Medicines
New Blood Thinners
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Obesity Medication
Over-the-Counter Drugs
Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
Over-the-Counter Drugs and Pregnancy
OTC Pain Relief
Packing Medications for Travel
Pharmaceutical Studies
Preventing Summer Hazards
Research Studies
Quit Smoking
Skin and Cosmeceuticals
Sports and Nutrition Supplements
Taking Medication
Take as Directed
Using Antibiotics Wisely
Vitamin D
Yeast Infections
Your Best Shot
Your Medicine Cupboard
Full Listing with story descriptions
Accident Prevention
Antibiotic Resistance
Backpack Pain
Bacteria Fight Back
Bug Off
Disaster Planning
Diseases from Pets
Cannabis Risks
Cell Phones and Driving
Childhood Obesity
Cancer Prevention Tips
Chronic Disease Prevention
Cold and Flu Season
Disaster Planning
Diseases from Pets
Distracted Driving
Farm Safety for City Kids
Foodborne Illness
Flu Pandemic
The Flu and You
Heading Home for a Visit
Health Tips for Snowbirds
Hearing Loss and Music Players
H1N1 Virus - Plan Ahead
Household Mould
Infection Control
Injury Prevention
Live Actively!
Insect Repellant
Keys to Preventing Cancer
Kids' Mental Health
Live Actively!
Low Birth Weight
Are Pesticides Safe?
Preventing Burns and Scalds
Preventing Cancer through Nutrition
Quit Smoking 101
Respiratory Infections
Seniors and STIs
Should You Immunize?
Sun Safety
Surviving Disaster
Sushi Preparation
Tattoo Safety
Teens, Drugs and Driving
Travel Health Considerations
Travel Medicine 101
Travel Tips
Type 2 Diabetes Prevention
Water Smarts
Vision Damage
Water Wisdom
West Nile Disease
Whooping Cough
Workplace Alcohol Abuse
Women's Health
Full Listing with story descriptions
15 Great Reasons to Breastfeed
Approaching Menopause
Birth Control
Breast Cancer Screening
Breast Cancer - Genetic Risks
Breast Cancer Self-Exam
Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Changes
Breast Health
Breastfeeding Myths
Cervical Cancer Screening
Contraception for Mature Women
Cosmetic Procedures
Estrogen's Effect on the Brain
Fear of Fracture
Heart Attack
Hirsutism - Unwanted Hair
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Menopause - What Men Should Know
Menopause and Your Moods
Menstrual Bleeding - Abnormal
Menstrual Bleeding - Heavy
Menstruation Myths
Menstrual Pain
Third Generation Birth Control Pills
Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian Cysts
Oral Contraction (The Pill)
Pap Test
Premenstrual Syndrome
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Urinary Incontinence
Varicose Veins
Viagra for Women
Vulva 101-What you should know
Yeast Infections
Your Pelvic Floor
Family Health Online / Pharmacy at Safeway
spacer   spacer pharmacy image pharmacy
Family Health Magazine - MODERN LIVING

Seniors & Driving
When is it time to gear down?

If you are an older driver, you can take steps to ensure you are driving safely and that your knowledge is up to date. It is important that you assess your current abilities. If you are considering not driving, planning ahead can put the transition in your control. Many seniors are going through this process, so know that you are not alone.

Age and the body

Some changes that occur as people age can affect driving. Aging can affect:

  • Vision – changes to the eyes can make seeing more difficult. Most of the information you need for safe driving comes through vision.
  • Hearing – reduced hearing can decrease your ability to hear key sounds, including sirens and horns.
  • Cognitive abilities – your ability to process what you see and hear around you, decide on the correct action, and react quickly can decrease with age. The usual result is that your response time increases, meaning it takes you longer to do what you need to do.
  • Mobility – you may have pain or decreased range of motion in your neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, hips, knees, and ankles. To shoulder check properly, you need an adequate range of motion.
  • Strength – you may have less strength than you had when you were younger. Strength is needed to grip and turn the steering wheel, and press the gas and brake pedals. With a standard transmission, strength is needed to shift gears and use the clutch.
  • Health conditions – issues including stroke, diabetes, a heart condition, arthritis, and Parkinson’s disease can affect your ability to drive.
  • Medication use – you may require medications as you age. Many have effects that can alter your functioning.

Be proactive

  • Visit your doctor and eye doctor for a regular health exam. Take care of your health.
  • Talk with your doctor about how you can be at your best as a driver.
  • Care for health issues that may affect your driving. To drive safely, you need proper physical and mental functioning. For instance, maintain a safe blood glucose level if you have diabetes. Eat nutritious foods, and exercise to maintain your strength and flexibility.
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications, and herbal products may affect your driving abilities. They can also interact, creating unexpected effects. Ask your pharmacist about the effects of everything that you take. Do not drive ‘under the influence.’
  • If you have mobility issues, a referral to an occupational therapist may help. There are aids that can assist with driving. One is a knob that attaches to the steering wheel to help turn the wheel if you lack strength or the ability to grip. Vehicles can be fitted with hand brakes. Adjustments can be made to the controls to accommodate issues with an arm or hand.
  • Do mobility exercises, especially for your neck and shoulders. This will help you to scan from left to right, and to shoulder check. Your torso and neck must be flexible, so that you can turn to see behind when you reverse the car. Just using the mirrors is not enough. How well do your legs work? Your right leg and foot must use the gas and brake pedals. In some vehicles the left leg applies the park brake, and works the clutch in a vehicle with a standard transmission. Getting in and out of the vehicle requires strength and mobility.
  • Read your provincial driver’s guide to keep your knowledge of the rules of the road sharp and up to date. You can find it online (see For further information sidebar), or check at a registry for a print copy.
  • Invest in staying current with your driving. People do this with careers and hobbies, so why not with the potentially dangerous activity of driving? Consider taking a driver education class from a driving school or agency that provides this service.
  • Take a driving refresher. This is a good way to maintain or improve your driving skills. If you do have health problems, an assessment of your driving abilities and a refresher lesson can check whether they are affecting your driving.

Set up for safe driving

Your body changes as you age. Make sure that your vehicle fits you. Can you still reach the pedals comfortably and apply appropriate pressure? Can you see over the instrument panel and through the windows clearly? Are you able to reach the controls comfortably?

To operate the gas and brake pedals effectively and safely, you must be positioned the correct distance away from the pedals. Position the driver’s seat so that you are sitting comfortably with your right heel on the floor in front of the gas pedal. This allows you to pivot easily between the gas pedal and brake pedal.

Are you sitting too close to the steering wheel? This can affect your ability to steer properly. It is also dangerous if you are in a collision. You could be injured by the steering wheel or the air bag. The airbag will expand at about 300 km/h. Make sure you have about 25 to 30 cm (10 to 12 inches) between your upper body and the steering wheel.

Your left hand should be placed on the steering wheel at a nine to 10 o’clock position, and your right hand should be at a two to three o’clock position.

Always wear your seat belt correctly. Do not place the shoulder strap under your arm or behind your back. If it is uncomfortable, have it checked and adjusted if possible.

Adjust the temperature inside your vehicle so it is not too warm or too cold. An appropriate temperature will help you to stay alert.

Make choices for safety

Where do you drive? Consider where you go and how far, and your route. Choose the safest way to get to your destination. For instance, three safe right turns could be a safer choice that one difficult or dangerous left turn. You could plan your drive on roads with lower speeds and fewer vehicles.

When do you drive? Consider the time of day and rush hours. Can you avoid driving during busier times of day or after dark? Do you need to drive on days with extreme temperatures outside or in challenging weather? If you can, avoid driving on days that are very hot or cold, snowy, foggy, in freezing rain, or when there are icy road conditions. Keep a winter kit and safety items in your car, including a tire pump and reflectors.

Limit distractions while you drive. People in the vehicle, conversations and listening to the radio can all divert your attention. Never use a phone or text while driving.

Wear your sunglasses, prescription if necessary. This helps to reduce glare and protects your eyes.

How can you improve your driving safety?

Many seniors have never taken driver education. Some have never taken a road test. They may have applied for and purchased an operator’s licence, without ever being tested in a vehicle.

As a senior driver, you may be self-regulating. This means that you always take the same or familiar routes, at less busy times of day. However, if you were required to take a road test, it would be on an unfamiliar route.

You may never have had an issue with your driving, or experienced a collision, ticket or even a fender bender. Even so, you still might not pass a road test. You would be expected to do manoeuvres safely that you may have never done, and follow rules of the road you may not know. For instance, you must come to a complete stop at an intersection controlled by a stop sign, and know the right-of-way at controlled and uncontrolled intersections.

A brush up lesson or two can give you an idea of your driving ability. It can refresh your memory and teach you new skills. More education about rules of the road, and processes like lane usage, lane recognition, lane changing, and sign recognition, can help you to be a safer driver. It can help you with planning, making decisions, and choosing the safest route.

Your driving abilities and knowledge

Certain clues may be telling you that you need to look at your driving skills and knowledge.

  • Do you feel confused or slow to respond, or that other drivers are pushing you to go faster?
  • Do you ever feel overwhelmed when driving, especially in more difficult situations like intersections, rush hour, or places you have not driven before?
  • Do other drivers honk at you?
  • Do you have trouble finding your way or do you get lost?
  • Are you having trouble seeing? Are parts of your field of vision blurred or dark? Do you have trouble with glare or seeing at night?
  • Do you have trouble steering, or working the gas and brake pedal, clutch, or gearshift?
  • Are you using both feet to work the gas and brake pedals? Using both feet can result in unsafe braking, steering and accelerating.
  • Is it difficult to shoulder check so that you can see a vehicle or motorcycle in the blind spots?
  • Are your turns too wide or too tight? Do you have difficulty judging time and space when turning?
  • Do you have trouble finding or knowing the proper lane to turn from and into?
  • Do you speed? Do you approach intersections too quickly?
  • Do you do a complete stop at intersections controlled by a stop sign? If you are still moving even slightly, you have not come to a complete stop.
  • Do you recognize school and playground zone signs? What are the required speeds and times?
  • Do you know the right-of-way rules at uncontrolled intersections (T, 4-way)?
  • Do you know the proper lanes for turning in a residential area?
  • Do you contact the curb hard when parking?
  • Do you use the park (emergency) brake when parking? It adds another measure of safety for you and your vehicle.

Common tendencies of seniors

Many senior drivers share certain unsafe habits. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • Not shoulder checking – using the car’s mirrors does not replace a proper shoulder check. The blind spot is real, and can only be seen with a shoulder check. If you do not do a shoulder check, you could miss seeing another vehicle, or worse, a vulnerable motorcycle or bicyclist in your blind spot.
  • Hesitating or stopping unnecessarily – this habit makes it difficult for other drivers to anticipate your actions.
  • Oversteering or understeering – maybe you learned to drive on a car that did not have power steering, or your visual skills need to be improved. Being too close to the steering wheel can also cause this problem.
  • Late, hard, abrupt or jerky braking – today’s power brakes may be different than those you once used. You might also be too close to the brake pedal.
  • Tunnel vision – are you aware of road signs and general driving information? Not scanning from side to side and missing a school zone sign is an example. If you miss the sign, you will not slow to the posted speed.

Considering other methods of transportation

Other ways to get around

  • walking
  • taxi – options may include regular taxis or services catering specifically to seniors
  • bus
  • family and friends
  • DATS (Disabled Adult Transportation Services)

Taking a driving refresher, or talking with your family about your driving ability, may make you consider whether you should continue. Some people are distressed about how not driving will affect their lives. Others feel less stress after making the decision to stop.

On the other hand, you may feel pressured to keep driving, even though you are not comfortable with it. If you feel it is time to stop, you should have the final say.

For further information

Read the driver’s guide for your province to ensure you know the current rules of the road.

British Columbia:





The money that you put toward your car can be used for other methods of staying mobile. If you no longer drive, you will not need to pay for:

• car payments and maintenance
• insurance and registration
• fuel
• parking fees
• your driver’s licence.

You do not need to have a driver’s licence to have official government photo identification. Instead, you can obtain an identification card from a registry. Just like a driver’s license, the card will show your picture and identifying information.

Many seniors hesitate to ask family for assistance. However, for your safety, and the safety of those around you, it is important that you are honest with yourself. Have an open conversation with your family. Discuss how they see your driving abilities, and what help they might provide if you decide to stop driving.

Many people drive well into their senior years. Others use alternate ways to get around. Consider how you can continue to be a safe driver, and plan ahead for the time when you stop driving.

FAMILY HEALTH is written with the assistance of:
FAMILY HEALTH is written with the assistance of:
While effort is made to reflect accepted medical knowledge and practice, articles in Family Health Online should not be relied upon for the treatment or management of any specified medical problem or concern and Family Health accepts no liability for reliance on the articles. For proper diagnosis and care, you should always consult your family physician promptly. © Copyright 2019, Family Health Magazine, a special publication of the Edmonton Journal, a division of Postmedia Network Inc., 10006 - 101 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 0S1    [ML_FHab16]
Safeway Med Advisor / Safeway Pharmacy logos
Safeway Med Advisor / Safeway Pharmacy logos