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  • Posted March 6, 2018

How to tell if you need help

Driving in 2018 series: How to tell if you need help

Angela Mulholland, Staff writer


Published Tuesday, March 6, 2018 6:00AM EST 

There are lots of reasons someone who has driven for years might suddenly suspect their driving skills are slipping.

They may have had an accident that left them unhurt, but emotionally affected and afraid to get behind the wheel again.

Aging drivers, who are having difficulty with reaction times, or turning their necks, can often notice their driving is slipping. Someone who has had a mild concussion or another type of injury might notice changes to their driving and become worried.


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Correcting this apprehension is important because a driver who is nervous and hesitant is one who could be a danger on the roads.

Sometimes, the warning signs of problems are more obvious:

receiving warnings by police, traffic tickets, or demerit points

getting honked at by other drivers

experiencing minor fender benders

Other times, the signs are more subtle, such as a driver who is:

having problems with lane changes or merging

feeling uncomfortable around intersections

feeling overwhelmed by heavy traffic

worrying they don’t know what’s in their blind spots

anxious about navigating a new route

Not sure if you have a problem? The CAA offers a simple self-assessment test to evaluate whether a senior driver needs to take steps to improve their driving skills.

Want to know if you still remember the rules of the road? ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia offers a quick driver-knowledge test.

Think your problem might be more serious? A visit to a doctor or optometrist could help you learn whether there’s anything wrong with your vision, your cognitive skills, or whether any health problems or medications could affect your driving.

Just want a driving refresher to improve your skills or your confidence? Look for an advanced driving school or a driving refresher course. These courses are designed for those who already know how to drive but want to polish up their skills.