Learning to Drive In Later Life: Tips and Myths
Many people falsely assume that learning to drive later in life is more dangerous than learning as a teenager. In reality, while it takes older drivers some time to grow accustomed to the rules of the road, they are just as capable of learning to drive as teenage drivers. With some help from the right driving instructor, learning to drive as an OAP can open up a range of new, exciting paths without risking personal safety.
Benefits of New-Adult Driving
Driving can radically improve people’s daily lives for both convenience and peace of mind, regardless of age. Even if you don’t have regular access to a car, learning to drive and obtaining a driver’s license allows you to partake in one of the eco-car sharing networks across the UK. Driving also opens up the possibility of renting a car when you travel abroad, which is often essential for more remote travel destinations. And for UK citizens, obtaining a driver’s license is a good idea to secure proper identification without carrying around a passport during day-to-day activity.
Technology for New Drivers
Recent technological advances have broadened possibilities for new OAP drivers. A rush of new smartphone apps enables safe driving not only via GPS systems, but also with apps to curb bad driving habits and even find new parking spaces. New technologies are crucial to foster independence in senior citizens, and driving is no exception. Using a GPS, for instance, omits the necessity of having to ask someone for directions or even tuning the radio to check local traffic.
Driving Strategies and Preparation
Learning to drive as an OAP will change the way you perceive the roads around you. Begin by paying attention to the drivers you share rides with and noticing how they navigate traffic and the rules of the road. Next, familiarise yourself with the UK’s rules for new driving in regards to driving instructors and insurance policies. Family or friends can offer driving lessons, but it’s often a good idea to seek professional help from a driving instructor if the thought of learning to drive at an old age has you feeling apprehensive.
For older adults, learning to drive may feel like a daunting task, but it is certainly an attainable one. With the right preparation and technology, OAP’s can regain their independence through driving and choosing their own destination.
We would like to thank Jennifer Dawson for this article and also Simone Acquaroli for use of the picture.