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Tips for driving safely

Even if you’ve been driving for years or consider yourself to be experienced, it’s important to think about whether you’re driving safely.

1. Have regular eye and hearing tests

If you’re prescribed glasses for driving, make sure you wear them and ensure that your faculties are good enough to be safe on the road.

See 'Caring for your eyes' for more information

2. Maintain your car

Check your car regularly and take it for an annual MOT. If you’ve had the same car for a while, consider whether it’s still suitable for your needs.

3. Be comfortable

Drive only when you feel comfortable doing so. This could mean avoiding bad weather or at rush hour, for example, if it makes you feel anxious.

4. Read the Highway Code

It may have changed since you learnt to drive, so it’s worth refreshing your knowledge. Download it free from GOV.UK, or buy it from a bookshop.

5. Adapt your car

If you have a health condition or disability that makes it difficult to use your car’s controls, there’s a wide range of adaptations that can help.

Sometimes just upgrading to a newer model with power steering can make a world of difference.

6. Follow your instincts

It can be hard to accept when we’re no longer able to do something safely. However, if you feel that your reactions aren’t as sharp as they were, or your ability has deteriorated, you should consider whether it’s time to stop.

Alternatives to driving vary from area to area, but it’s worth researching what’s available, particularly if you think you will need to stop driving soon.

If you’re older or disabled you may be entitled to a free bus pass and discounted rail and coach travel. There may also be a community bus service, taxi token scheme, or dial-a-ride minibus service in your area.

Further information

For more information: Call Age NI Advice: 0808 808 7575

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