Driving Tips for Senior Drivers
As we all age, it is normal for our driving abilities to change as well. By incorporating safe driving practices and reducing factors, we can continue driving safely long into our senior years. It is a must, however, that we pay attention to any warning signs that age is interfering with our driving safety. It is also our responsibility to make appropriate adjustments.
How Aging Affects Driving
Everyone ages differently. This is why there is no exact age as to when someone should give up the keys and stop driving. Older adults, however, are more likely to receive traffic citations and get into accidents than the younger drivers. Fatal crash rates rise sharply after drivers reach the age of 70. What causes this increase? There are different factors to take into consideration – decreased vision, slowed motor reflexes, and impaired hearing, to name a few.
Aging can result in the reduction of strength, flexibility, and coordination – all of which can have a major impact on one’s ability to safely control a car.
Here are a few examples:
*Leg pain can make it difficult for a driver to move his or her foot from the gas to the brake pedal.
*Pain or stiffness in the neck can make it harder to look over the shoulder when changing lanes or to look left and right at intersections.
*Diminished arm strength can make it difficult to turn the steering wheel quickly and safely.
*Slowed reaction times can cause a driver to be slower to spot emerging vehicles from side streets and driveways.
*Decreased sharpness in memory can become a problem in terms of keeping track of road signs, markings, signals, as well as other traffic and pedestrians.
SAFETY TIPS FOR OLDER DRIVERS
Aging DOES NOT automatically equate to the total loss of driving ability. There are many things you can do to continue driving safely such as modifying your car and the way you drive, as well as understanding physical issues that may interfere with your driving.
**STAY ON TOP OF YOUR HEALTH. Regular check-ups are essential to keep you in the best possible driving shape. Get your eyes and hearing checked annually. If you are taking any medications, talk to your doctor about their effects on your driving ability. It is also important to get plenty of sleep if you want to drive well. If you are having problems sleeping at night, improve your sleeping conditions. Your doctor can also help you with this one.
**FIND THE RIGHT CAR AND OTHER AIDS YOU NEED FOR SAFE DRIVING. It is important to choose a vehicle with automatic transmission as well as power steering and brakes. Always keep your car in good working condition. Visit your mechanic for scheduled maintenance. Your windows and headlights should always be kept clean.
**DRIVE DEFENSIVELY. In these days of advanced technology such as cell phones, GPS devices, and digital music players, drivers are more distracted than they used to be. As older drivers, you would want to take extra steps to drive safely. Avoid distractions and allow sufficient braking distance.
If you or someone dear to you is a victim of motor vehicular accidents, you may contact our firm, Guzzo Bianchi Leung Viskovic, LLP, for legal assistance. Call us today at 1.855.905.9222.
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