Older Drivers

Frequently Asked Questions

11. Can exercise make me more fit to drive?

As people age, their joints may get stiff, and their muscles may weaken. Maybe they have trouble walking or feel pain in their knees, legs, or ankles. All of these symptoms can make it harder to drive safely.

Driving a car requires strength and agility to depress the brake and gas pedals, turn the steering wheel, shift gears, and even to enter and exit the vehicle. Flexibility is essential for looking over the shoulder, changing lanes, and looking left or right to check for traffic. Reaching for a seat belt requires a certain range of motion in the shoulders.

Doing strength and flexibility exercises can improve some physical functions needed for driving.

For exercises that can improve strength in older adults, see Strength Exercises.

For exercises that can improve flexibility in older adults, see Flexibility Exercises

To learn more, check out Go4LifeĀ®, the exercise and physical activity campaign for older adults from the National Institute on Aging.