By The Acclaim Team on 21st June 2024 in News

The freedom that comes hand in hand with driving is cherished by all road users. Allowing drivers to get from A to B with ease, and travel far and wide, there’s no better feeling than the independence driving provides. 


However, it’s important that when you reach your senior years, you prioritise staying safe on the road and you can do this by completing a senior driving refresher course. After all, for drivers aged 65 and above, it’s not uncommon for this group of drivers to start to experience changes in their driving abilities. This is often due to age related issues such as vision impairment, cognitive changes and decreased reaction times. 


The good news is, here at Acclaim, we provide senior driving refresher courses that have been designed to not only give you a fresh lease of confidence on the road but also 

improve your knowledge of the rules of the road and perfect your driving techniques. This means you can enjoy many more successful years of driving.


After all, safety should always be a top priority for all drivers. Within this article, we have explored some of the benefits of taking a senior driving refresher course:


Why do refresher driving lessons matter?


According to the Department for Transport (DfT) Statistics (2022): “In 2022, there were over 170,000 reported road casualties in the UK, with a significant portion involving driver error.”


With this in mind, it’s more important than ever before that senior drivers recognise the importance of refresher courses. After all, for even the most experienced drivers, their skills and the road itself can change over time.


Here are some of the benefits of taking a senior refresher driving course:


  • Sharpen your driving skills 

  • Brush up on your defensive driving techniques such as hazard perception, manoeuvring lane changes and following distances

  • Identify areas for improvement 

  • Refine your driving skills


Ultimately, by investing in a refresher course, you're not only investing in your safety but the safety of others on the road too. At the same time, this is a proactive way to maintain your own driving skills, react to change and boost your confidence on the road. 


Common Challenges for Senior Drivers 


Senior drivers face a whole host of common challenges, which come hand in hand with the natural ageing process.

Some of the most common challenges senior drivers encounter include the following:


  • Age-related vision – This includes changes such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and decreased night vision. 

  • Hearing Loss:  Many senior drivers find it difficult to hear sirens, horns, and other traffic cues, which can cause a catalogue of issues on the road

  • Decreased Strength and Flexibility: Limited mobility can make it increasingly challenging to turn the steering wheel, as well as operate the pedals effectively, and maintain proper posture while driving.

  • Slower Reaction Times: Reaction times naturally slow with age, making it harder to respond quickly to sudden changes on the road. 

Other factors such as cognitive decline, medication, changes in vehicle technology and unfamiliar roads and traffic patterns can also cause an issue. 


Tips for safe driving as you age 

As we grow older, our bodies naturally change, and so can our driving abilities. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need to give up driving and hand over your keys!

However, it is important that you take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of others on the road. You can do this by:


  • Prioritise vision and hearing checkups

  • Utilise modern safety technologies 

  • Attend regular health checkups 

  • Adjust your driving habits  

  • Schedule regular car maintenance 

  • Adjust your car settings 

  • Maintain your confidence 

  • Minimise distractions

  • Sign up to driving refresher courses


Most importantly, you should always remember that safe driving is your responsibility and by using the above tips and staying proactive, you can navigate the road with confidence for many years to come. 

However, at the same time,  if you ever feel unsure about your driving abilities, it's always best to consider alternative transportation options.


Mental and emotional wellness for senior drivers 


Today’s roads are busier and more complex than ever before. Therefore, it is not only important that you look after your physical health but also your mental and emotional wellness too! 


This is because, as we age, mental and emotional elements can also impact driving safety. 


  • Recognise the time to seek help when needed 

  • Manage stress and anxiety 

  • Focus on building your driving confidence when needed 

  • Sharpen your cognitive skills 

  • Always be honest with yourself when it is time to seek alternative transportation 

  • Regularly assess your own driving capabilities 

  • Practice relaxation techniques 

  • Practice brain training activities. 


Again, you should always seek the appropriate help and support from the relevant medical professionals if you notice a decline in your mental health. 


Driving refresher lessons with Acclaim 

Here at Acclaim Driving School, we have been helping people to get their driving licence for over 34 years and we also provide driver refresher lessons too. 


A senior driving refresher course with one of our qualified driving instructors can help boost your confidence and provide the support you require to re-educate yourself on the rules of the road. 


Our refresher driving lessons are a great way to refamiliarize yourself with the art of driving, helping you to regain any confidence that may have lost since passing your test. And our supportive and experienced driving instructors are on hand to make the process as easy and as enjoyable as possible. 

If you are ready to book your driving refresher lesson, get in touch with a member of our team today!