As people age, unfortunately, some of the things that were once easy sometimes become more difficult. One of these skills that was once second nature, which may become more difficult is driving. Because car safety should be a top priority for anyone on the road, there are several things you can do to help you continue to be a safe driver, even as you age.
Limit When and Where You Drive
As people get older, they often find they cannot safely drive at all times or in all driving conditions. If you are struggling to see while driving at night, drive only during the day. You may also want to avoid driving during snowy or wet weather or when visibility is otherwise reduced.
You may also need to limit your driving to less-congested areas or to roads with lower speed limits. As you limit when and where you drive, you may rely on family or friends for more rides, or you may need to use public transportation.
Be Aware of Your Health
It is important for you to be aware of any health issues. To be aware of any potential health problems, make sure you have regular check-ups with your doctor. Regular hearing and vision tests should also be a part of your routine. If you notice your vision or hearing are not as sharp as before or if you have another health concern, make sure you schedule an appointment with the appropriate doctor right away. This will increase your chances of catching a problem early.
If you are taking any medications, it is also important to know how they may affect your driving abilities. At times, this might mean not driving for a few days after starting a new medication.
Drive the Right Vehicle
In some cases, you may have to trade-in your current vehicle or make upgrades to it. It is important to pick a vehicle that is the right size. If you are driving a lower-riding vehicle, something a little higher, such as a small SUV, might be a better option. It might be easier to get into, and you will ride a little higher, making it easier to see what is going on around you. You could also use a cushion or other device to boost you in the seat if you are struggling to see over the wheel properly. For added safety, you may want to look for a vehicle that is equipped with a back-up camera and sensors to detect when you are getting close to other vehicles.
Senior Driving Courses
Even if you are not experiencing any driving issues, a senior driving course might be a good idea. It will help you understand how to deal with some of the driving problems you might be currently encountering. Plus, you can often save money on insurance by taking a driving course.
Admit When It Is Time to Stop Driving
Because driving for many people represents independence, it is often hard for people to admit when they can no longer safely drive. Be willing to admit when you can no longer safely drive. Lack of depth-perception, difficulty seeing signs properly, slowed reflexes, and memory problems are some signs that it is time to hang-up the keys. If your adult child or children have talked to you about no longer driving, be willing to at least consider their opinion.
Often, friends or family members will be willing to step in and act as your chauffeur once you are no longer able to safely drive. Public transportation may also be another alternative to consider.
If you are an adult child who needs to have a conversation with one of your parents about giving up the keys, be sure to be respectful of your parent's feelings. Be willing to provide your parent or other family member with transportation alternatives and other help that will allow the person to feel more comfortable about the situation.
Contact us to learn more about car safety tips for drivers of all ages.