When is the right time to stop driving?
Giving up driving can be a difficult decision for any senior to make, but there comes a time when you have to face the possibility that it is safer not to drive any longer. Driving gives you freedom and independence, but it’s also important that you drive safely, or you could find yourself in an accident – or even injuring yourself or someone else. Under Victorian law, unlike in some other states, you are not obligated to take a driving test once you reach a certain age. When you decide to stop driving is largely a matter of your own judgement, and taking the advice of your doctor, family and friends.
When must I give up driving?
There are a number of medical conditions that can affect your ability to drive. You are legally required to report to VicRoads if you have been diagnosed with certain medical issues, such as vision disorders, or if you have had an amputation. Your doctor will inform you if you are required to report to VicRoads, and they can help you by providing a medical report explaining the issue. If your condition is severe enough to prevent you from driving, you will be informed of this by VicRoads. If you have been involved in an accident, or you have been reported by a police officer or member of the public, VicRoads may request that you stop driving. You will be informed in writing if this happens, and you will also be advised what you need to do if you want your licence back. Driving without a licence is an offence, and you could end up with a fine if you continue to drive after you have had your licence revoked. If you don’t report a medical condition or disability to VicRoads and you are in an accident, your car insurance may not be valid. This can lead to expensive repairs and medical costs, particularly if the accident is serious.
How do I know if I should stop driving?
Although it can be an inconvenience, it’s important to be aware that as you get older your reflexes, vision and co-ordination deteriorate. This may mean that your ability to drive is affected more than you realise. It is a good idea to listen to the advice of friends and family if they suggest that you stop driving. If you notice that you are getting in accidents more frequently than before, or your car seems to be sustaining damage from little bumps and scrapes, it might be a sign that you need to consider reducing or stopping driving altogether. Although giving up driving can be a difficult choice, if you are a Retirement Communities Australia village resident, giving up driving doesn’t have to mean losing your freedom. Retirement Villages such as Point Cook Village and Cardinia Waters at Pakenham offer a bus service from the village to local services and shops, meaning that you can still stay active in the broader community even after you decide to stop driving.