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Information for older drivers

As people age, they need to be even more careful about their use of alcohol and other drugs. There are 3 main reasons for this:

  • Ageing can affect alcohol and other drug metabolism by the body.
  • Older people are more likely to be taking prescribed medications that could react with alcohol and other drugs. See our fact sheet 'Medications and safe driving'.
  • Ageing can increase the likelihood of physical difficulties, such as slowed reaction times or visual problems, increasing the risk of an accident.

Older people are more likely to be injured or killed if they are involved in an accident, than a younger person involved in a similar accident. Older people are also less likely to fully recuperate and recover from an accident.

Good health and driving

Driving safely requires the driver to pay close attention to many things at once, and to be able to react quickly when something unexpected happens. A driver needs to be mentally alert, to have clear vision, physical coordination and the ability to react appropriately.

Your health practitioner needs to know that you drive, so they can regularly check that your health is not affecting any of these safe driving requirements. If you have a medical condition, your health practitioner can help you manage it, along with any medicines you may need to take, so that you may be able to continue to drive safely.

Further information


Last updated: 13 April 2016

    Information you heard is intended as a general guide only. This audio is copyrighted by the Australian Drug Foundation. Visit for more