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Home » Elder Law » Signs that an older person can no longer drive safely

As people age, their ability to drive safely may decline. Recognizing signs that an older person cannot drive is important if a family member is seeking legal options to care for them.

Identifying these signs early also helps prevent accidents.

Vision problems

Poor vision is a common issue among older adults and can significantly affect driving ability. Look for signs such as difficulty reading road signs or frequent squinting.

Slower reaction time

Aging can lead to slower reaction times, making responding quickly to changing traffic conditions challenging. If an older driver consistently hesitates at intersections or struggles to merge onto highways, it may be a sign of decreased reaction time.

Physical limitations

Physical limitations such as arthritis or reduced mobility can impact a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. Watch for signs of difficulty gripping the steering wheel, pressing the pedals or turning to check blind spots.


Forgetfulness or cognitive decline can impair a person’s ability to concentrate and make sound decisions while driving. Keep an eye out for missed exits, getting lost in familiar areas or forgetting to use turn signals.

Aggressive actions

Some older adults may compensate for declining abilities by driving more aggressively. Tailgating or frequent lane changes without signaling are good indicators of aggression.

Scratches on the vehicle

Inspect the older adult’s vehicle for any unexplained dents, scratches or other signs of minor accidents. These may indicate that they are having difficulty navigating or parking the vehicle safely.

Talking with an older person about long-term care options and giving up their license may be tough since driving is a way to stay independent. However, worried individuals can offer assistance in finding alternative transportation solutions for their elderly loved ones.