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Companion driving – Not just for people who cannot drive!

Many older people rely on their car to get around. Having a car makes it easy to go shopping, get to appointments and catch up with friends – without having to ask anyone else for help. Some people will be able to keep driving well into their 80s and 90s. However, some people, for many and varied reasons are do not renew their licence in their latter years. Because people are enjoying longer active lifestyles these days, a record number of older drivers will be on the roads in the years ahead.

Fading vision is one of the leading causes of older people having to give up driving or restrict their driving. Reduction in night vision especially can be a serious traffic hazard, particularly among older motorists who drive after dark. For example, one of the most common reasons for vision failure for these people is cataract. Drivers with cataract should become aware of the hazard it really is to drive and especially at night, and for those who have advanced cataracts, it might be a good idea to avoid night driving altogether.

This may make the roads safer at night, however it severely restricts what an older person can do. Just think about all the things you do after the sun goes down – whether it is going out for dinner, shopping, popping over to friends’ houses, or seeing a show. Many older people who can no longer drive at night may feel like they cannot do these things again without relying on a family member or friend ferrying them around.  However, there are other options. Using a driving service is a great way to remain independent and still be able to enjoy going out at night. Driving services cut out the need for worrying about driving and parking at night. Companion driving services in particular, solve the problem of not having a ‘mate’ to go out with which can be another reason older people choose not to go out.

Many people think using a driving service is far too expensive to use regularly, but it can cost up to $2,500 a year to run a small car – which when you think about is a lot of fares with a driving service! Also, the Total Mobility Scheme, which you can read more about here, allows those who qualify to get discounted fares which makes it even more affordable!

There is no reason to let a fear or inability to drive at night stop you from enjoying the nightlife!

About Melanie Harper

Melanie Harper
Director, Driving Miss Daisy NZ Ltd As New Zealand’s founding companion driving company, we provide a personal and caring service to our clients who are unable to drive for any reason. Not only do we provide a friendly, safe, punctual and highly qualified companion to get people to any appointment, we also arrange outings to get people out and about for shopping, lunch dates or an ice cream at the beach with friends!

One comment

  1. Good to see a cost comparison with running a car.