A new study finds that driving skills decline with age, even if they have previously clean driving records and showed no signs of dementia. Drivers over age 70 were much more likely to forget to check blind spots and use their turn signals and make other errors associated with increased crash risks. Motor vehicle operators between the ages of 85 and 89 were four times more likely to make critical errors than those between 70 and 74 years of age.
An Australian study appearing in Neuropsychology finds that decreased driving performance is a normal sign of aging. Researchers suggest that older drivers should undergo “additional training in related cognitive skills.”
The study does have some limitations. For example, researchers did not study vision and visual skills. Eye diseases like macular degeneration are associated with aging and are a chief reason why the elderly are advised by the doctors to stop driving.