If you see a driving instructor's car making its way down the road, chances are the person they have learning behind the wheel is on the younger side. Plenty of people start learning to drive as soon as they can, but not taking any refresher courses can mean that you go without any kind of instruction right up into your old age.
Of course, older drivers can be just as good or as bad as younger ones, and their decades of experience behind the wheel can certainly give them an edge. However, there are a number of reasons that seniors should consider having a refresher lesson or two.
Helps Prevent Future Accidents
If you haven't had any driving instruction in years, it could be that you have forgotten about certain hazards. It's easy for bad habits to form over the years, and senior drivers may well have learnt to drive using cars that are remarkably different to the ones currently in use. Having lessons will let you brush up on your skills and reduce the possibility of getting into an accident in the future. Remember, the human body grows less able to absorb impact energy without sustaining serious injury as it gets older, so crashes are more serious for the elderly population.
Improves Your Comfort
The fact that cars have changed so much can be a good thing, but many older drivers are less familiar with newer technologies. Adaptive cruise control, for example, uses radar technology to keep a set distance between your car and the vehicle ahead, so it can be great during stop-start traffic. Some senior drivers might not know about these more cutting-edge technologies, or they may simply need to be told exactly how to use them. Your driving instructor will also be able to help you find a more comfortable seating and steering-wheel position if you find that driving for longer periods creates pain in the back, arms, or shoulders. Alternatively, you may find that driving an automatic is more comfortable.
Improves Your Confidence
It isn't at all uncommon for older drivers to lose some confidence. In fact, you have probably heard people say that older drivers are dangerous behind the wheel. This isn't the case at all, with most older drivers being entirely capable. However, it can help you drive with more confidence if you go through a couple of refresher lessons. If there is anything that needs to be addressed, your instructor can help you out; if there isn't, you can ride easy knowing you were doing everything right after all.