Assess and Maintain Your Driving Skills

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How To Maintain Driving Skills

CAA has gathered information on ways to maintain driving skills, and although the information is intended for seniors, much of it is helpful to all drivers.

All of the following can be accessed from this page:

  • Information on keeping physically and mentally fit, which may be the most effective way to counter the effects of aging.
  • A pre-driving checklist that includes tips on adjusting a vehicle – the mirrors and the steering column, for example – to maximize vision and control.
  • Tips for what to consider when purchasing a vehicle, highlighting features that can help seniors with driving.
  • Advice on managing challenging driving conditions, such as driving at night.
  • Advice on managing senior-specific driving skills, such as making left turns. (Statistics show that seniors have more accidents making left turns than any other drivers.)
  • Comprehensive list of driving refresher courses.
  • CAA’s video series with tips for maintaining driving skills.
Senior couple sitting in a car driving

Preparing For A Drive

Print the checklist in its entirety.

In order to drive safely, we need to make sure that our car is adjusted so that it fits us as perfectly as possible. Keep a copy in the glove compartment and review it periodically. These simple adjustments can make anyone a safer driver!

Get the checklist

How To Assess Driving Skills

One of the most important things we can do to maintain driving independence is to regularly assess driving skills and physical and mental abilities in order to pinpoint areas for improvement.

We can then take steps to brush up on relevant driving skills – such as merging onto a busy highway – or counteract physical and mental changes in order to continue driving safely.

CAA has sourced two different driving skills assessments that can be used by all drivers, including seniors. In most cases, results will likely identify some areas for improvement, regardless of age. In a few cases and depending on results, consider changing driving habits (such as limiting driving at night), or driving less or not at all.

These tests are not meant to take the place of a medical assessment of readiness to drive. Refer to the information on determining readiness to drive and on consulting a medical professional.

Professional Assessment

Have you noticed that some of your skills needed for safe driving are not as strong as they used to be?

  • Not seeing as well?
  • Reacting more slowly?
  • Losing flexibility or strength that makes some driving manoeuvres challenging?

As areas of concern emerge, you may decide to seek a professional assessment to find out how your driving is affected and if you could benefit from a referral to rehabilitation. Your doctor may complete the assessment or make a referral to an occupational therapist, a private company or a clinic that specializes in driving assessment and evaluation.