Elderly driver safety tips can help keep the roads safer for everybody. These are 5 potential danger areas for older drivers and ways to sustain your independence for as long as possible without putting yourself and others at risk.
Elderly Driver Safety Tips: Don’t Drive After Dark
Many seniors have difficulty seeing at night or in poor light due to cataracts or other changes in vision. If this sounds like you, you may not need to give up driving completely, but you may need to adjust your schedule so you only drive during daytime hours. Your eye doctor may also be able to recommend treatments like corrective glasses or cataract surgery. All these steps can help the older driver prevent accidents caused by impaired vision.
Elderly Driver Safety Tips: Stick to Familiar Routes
As we age, it usually gets harder to learn new things but we can still handle the stuff that’s become routine. Some seniors find it helpful to limit their driving to routes they already know well. This can help avoid crashes caused by age-related declines in cognitive abilities and make driving less stressful for the older driver.
Elderly Driver Safety Tips: Stay Flexible
Turning can be a challenge for many seniors if your range of motion of declines. Keep your neck and shoulder muscles flexible so you can look over your shoulder. Heating pads are very effective for reducing pain and stiffness. Do gentle stretching exercises daily after you warm up with a little aerobic exercise. These precautions can help avoid serious crashes at intersections. Older drivers may also want to limit themselves to intersections with protected left turns.
Elderly Driver Safety Tips: Use Prescription Drugs and Alcohol with Caution
As we grow older, we may feel the effects of alcohol and prescription drugs more acutely. Discuss any concerns with your doctor and pharmacist. Read drug warning labels carefully. Seniors may need to adjust their driving habits to avoid accidents related to medications that cause drowsiness or other side effects.
Elderly Driver Safety Tips: Regularly Evaluate Your Competency to Drive
Aging affects all our physical and mental abilities and some diseases accelerate the process. Stay on top of changes in your competency to drive. Get your vision and hearing tested regularly. Ask your physician to assess your ability to drive safely. Knowing when to stop driving can prevent potentially fatal crashes.
The number of elderly drivers is increasing. Proper safety precautions can help older drivers maintain their independence and prevent potentially fatal accidents for everybody.