Older Driver Tips For Driving Safety in Murrieta
Older drivers | Most people take driving for granted, but as they get older, driving can become more dangerous and therefore a topic for discussion. Keeping older adult drivers on the road longer should be a goal as long as they can drive safely.
With the following tips, you can help keep your elderly loved one driving longer and enjoying life while staying safe, all at the same time. Older people can face several difficulties as the years go on, with driving being one particular area where they may begin to struggle.
Sadly, it is common to read news stories about collisions or mishaps on the roads that have been caused by an older driver. In this post, we will share some driving tips to help older drivers to remain confident and safe on the roads. Remember, if you have any doubts about your skill or ability as an older driver you should seek medical advice and/or consider retiring from the road.
Driving can sometimes be challenging for older adults. Follow these safety tips for older drivers, from taking good care of yourself to planning ahead and updating your skills.
Driver safety requires more than understanding of road signs and traffic laws. As you get older, you’ll likely notice physical changes that can make certain actions — such as turning your head to look for oncoming traffic or braking safely — more challenging. Still, older drivers can remain safe on the road. Consider seven tips for older drivers.
1. Stay physically active
Staying physically active improves your strength and flexibility. In turn, physical activity can improve driver safety by making it easier to turn the steering wheel, look over your shoulder, and make other movements while driving and parking.
Look for ways to include physical activity in your daily routine. Walking is a great choice for many people. Stretching and strength training exercises are helpful for older drivers, too. If you’ve been sedentary, get your doctor’s OK before increasing your activity level.
2. Schedule regular vision and hearing tests
Some senses, such as hearing and vision, tend to decline with age. Impaired hearing can be a concern for older drivers by limiting the ability to hear an approaching emergency vehicle or train. Common age-related vision problems — such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration — also can make it difficult to see clearly or drive at night.
Ask your doctor how often to schedule vision and hearing tests. Even if you think your hearing and vision are fine, stick to your doctor’s recommended exam schedule. Problems might be easier to correct if caught early, and specialists can recommend timely adjustments to reduce your risk of an accident.
For example, an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) might recommend driving only during daylight hours.
3. Manage any chronic conditions
Work with your doctor to manage any chronic conditions — especially those that might impact driver safety, such as diabetes or seizures. Follow your doctor’s instructions for managing your condition and staying safe behind the wheel. This might include adjusting your treatment plan or restricting your driving.
It’s equally important to know your medications. Many drugs, including pain medications, sleep medications, antihistamines, and muscle relaxants, can affect driver safety, even when you’re feeling fine. Read your medication labels so that you know what to expect from each one.
Don’t drive if you’ve taken medication that causes drowsiness or dizziness. If you’re concerned about side effects or the impact on driver safety, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
4. Understand your limitations
Consider your physical limitations and make any necessary adjustments. For example, if your hands hurt when gripping the steering wheel, use a steering wheel cover that makes holding and turning the wheel more comfortable.
You might ask your doctor for a referral to an occupational therapist, who can offer assistance devices to help you drive or suggest exercises to help you overcome your limitations.
You might also adjust your vehicle or choose a different vehicle to better meet your needs. For example, vehicles that feature larger, easier-to-read dials on the dashboard are often popular with older drivers.
In addition, some newer models offer safety features that can help you avoid collisions, change lanes safely, manage your blind spot, and more.
5. Drive when the roads — and you — are in good condition
You can improve driver safety by driving during the daytime, in good weather, on quiet roads, and in familiar areas. If visibility is poor, consider delaying your trip or using public transportation.
Beyond road conditions, make sure you’re in optimal condition to drive. Don’t drive if you’re tired or angry.
Never drive after drinking alcohol or using other mind-altering substances. This includes marijuana — even if it’s been prescribed to you for medical use. Read more here…
Stay Safe & Know when to Stop
If you begin to doubt your driving ability or have a near-crash experience, then the time may have come for you to think about coming off the roads. It may be best to talk it through with your doctor or members of your family – both of whom can help you to make the decision.
In many cases, senior drivers decide to stop driving when they recognize that their confidence has waned. Others may not realize that declining health, impaired senses or medication have adversely affected their driving skills and may comprise their safety or the safety of others.
Safety is the most important thing on the roads and it is vital that everybody, not just elderly drivers, takes as much care as possible while driving.
Dee (Deidre) writes and Curates for several Financial Services Site Blogs. We’re glad to have her.