Older drivers: When is it time to hang up the keys?

Are you concerned a parent or grandparent is no longer safe to drive?

In Queensland, drivers over the age of 75, as well as drivers with medical conditions affecting their ability to drive, are required to carry a medical certificate when driving.

RACQ spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said research has shown crash patterns changed significantly for older drivers, particularly once they reached 80 years old.

“Instead of reckless actions like speeding and drink driving or failure to wear seatbelts, crashes where an older driver is at fault are most commonly caused by misjudgement – typically, turning right across traffic at intersections or simply driving off the road,” she said.

“Many older drivers will recognise their declining faculties and voluntarily restrict their driving to local areas and many avoid driving at night.”

Ms Ritchie said it was important to have the conversation with friends or family members about the right time to hang up the car keys.

“It can be a daunting conversation to have, but when it comes to the safety of your friends and family it’s a conversation you can’t afford to ignore,” she said.

“You may also find our Older Driver Self-Assessment Questionnaire handy. This questionnaire covers a range of issues related to safe driving, and gives you a score based on your responses.”