Tips & tricks

How to drive longer

Medical conditions and physical disabilities impact most people's ability to drive at some point in their lives, regardless of age.

This is why all Tasmanian drivers have a responsibility to talk to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles if they develop a condition that may impact their driving. 

From there, they may need to undertake a medical test to see whether changes to their licence need to be made, or if it needs to be cancelled. 

Medical and physical conditions drivers may experience include:

  • Dementia or Alzheimer's disease
  • Stroke
  • Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis
  • Physical injuries or disabilities
  • Heart conditions
  • Hearing and vision impairments/eye diseases
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Depression or mental health issues
  • Sleep disorders

While these conditions can affect people of all ages, changes related to ageing, including vision, memory, muscles, joints and reaction speeds, can increase the risk of crashes. 

There is currently no specific age limit for mandatory medical testing for people over 65, providing they don't have a condition that can impact their driving. This means they can decide when it's time to stop driving. 

Nonetheless, here are some tips to help prolong your fitness to drive:

  1. We encourage all drivers, particularly the elderly, to self-assess their driving abilities with family, friends or doctors. If there are any changes that may impact driving, we encourage you to notify the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.
  2. Visit your optometrist for an eye test and check up at least once a year.
  3. Keep up the physical and mental exercise to sharpen your skills while driving. Speak to your doctor about a fitness plan. 
  4. You should drink plenty of water, eat healthy foods and get plenty of sleep, which can reduce lapses in concentration. If need be, stop frequently to rest while driving.
  5. Also, make sure that you:
    1. Correctly install your head restraint
    2. Are high enough in your seat to see all traffic with minimal blind spots
    3. Can reach your seatbelt and pedals
    4. Are an appropriate distance from the steering wheel (24cm)
    5. Refresh your knowledge of the road rules and safety advice - test your knowledge with our short road rules quiz.
  6. You should check the ANCAP safety rating of your car. We recommend buying the newest and safest car you can afford, as well as regular vehicle maintenance - including six monthly or annual servicing.  

For more help, we've also found some helpful links and resources