Senior Driver Traffic Safety TipsJune 6, 2017
As people age, physically we naturally get weaker. Our hearing and eyesight might not be what it once was. Our reflexes are also not as quick as when we were young. We might also have different medical conditions that might affect how well we drive. All of these factors can affect how well seniors drive and their overall safety. However, with the tips below, most seniors can be driving safely for longer than they might think.
Know Your Weaknesses
The first tip is to understand any difficulties you might have and make adjustments for them. For example, if you have poor vision, be sure to keep your eyeglass prescription up to date at all times, and keep an extra pair in your glove compartment, just in case. Also, if you have hearing problems, know how to adjust the levels of your hearing aid. There are many other adjustments you can make to help make driving safer. For example, if you have back trouble, consider getting a pad or cushion to sit on or put behind your back while you drive.
Naturally, older people will have a longer reaction time when they need to brake quickly. Adjust for this by maintaining extra distance between you and the car ahead of you. You can also try to find ways to get to your destination that have less traffic. Less traffic equals easier and less stressful driving for seniors.
Always be aware of what medications you are taking. A surprising amount of common prescriptions have side effects that may affect your driving ability. Things like dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, seizures and eye problems can all happen due to medications. Blood pressure and heart medications are commonly taken by seniors, and their possible side effects include all of these. If you have certain eye problems, special glasses might help you see better when driving. Be sure to ask your eye doctor about that.
Brush Up On Driving Basics
If you’re worried about driving as you get older, it may be wise to take a driving class to brush up on the basics. In fact, there are classes available tailored to senior drivers.
When To Stop Driving
For most of us, there will come a time when driving will simply be too difficult or unsafe due to our age. Don’t be afraid to give up your vehicle though, these days, it doesn’t mean giving up your freedom. There are many senior shuttle services available. You can also take advantage of public transportation like buses and trains. Buses usually have a special senior discount. There’s also ride sharing services that make it easier to get a ride now than ever before. In the next decade though, the amazing invention of self-driving cars may just eliminate the need for any of us to drive, including seniors.