As drivers, we all have a responsibility to keep our roads safe. This is drilled into us as soon as we start learning how to drive. We are taught to understand road signs and respect the rules of the road.
Once we receive our license to drive, most of us try to carry on what we’ve learned. It is our desire to protect ourselves, those in our vehicles, and other drivers on the road. As we get older, though, practicing safe driving can get a bit difficult due to the physical and mental changes we all face.
What can we do to fulfill our responsibility of being a safe driver? Today, we’re sharing tips that ensure safe driving for older adults and the other drivers on the road.
Safe Driving for Older Adults: 7 Helpful Tips
Here are a few senior driving tips that will help you stay safe whenever you take to the road.
1. Stay Active
Safe driving for older adults starts with staying active.
Some of the problems that make safe driving difficult include a stiff neck and lack of strength.
Fortunately, with regular physical exercise, we can all improve our strength and flexibility – making it easier to handle a vehicle and maneuver through traffic safely.
2. Visit Your Doctor Regularly
Your doctor can keep an eye on your physical and mental strength to ensure that you’re able to stay safe on the road.
They can also order regular vision and hearing tests. These are vital tests!
Being able to see clearly will help you navigate traffic and see the road signs. Good hearing will make it easier to hear emergency vehicle sirens or warning honks from other drivers’ horns.
3. Manage Chronic Health Conditions
If you have a condition like diabetes or seizures, your doctor can help you manage these conditions. Health management is important to your overall health and wellbeing, but it will also ensure your safety on the road.
Unmanaged, chronic conditions can result in seizures or blackouts that put both you and other drivers at risk for accident and injury.
4. Maintain Good Posture Behind The Wheel
When we were in driver’s school, we were taught proper hand, seat, and mirror positioning. These haven’t changed. But not everyone pays attention to them, which can make driving more difficult.
Make sure to move the steering wheel to a comfortable position, adjust your seat, and use a cushion on the seat if necessary to give you a better vantage point.
5. Schedule Your Outings At Safe, Practical Times
It’s always wise to recognize our limitations. If driving makes you nervous or your reaction times are slower, it’s probably best to drive at times when there’s less traffic.
It might also be prudent to drive when it’s light outside. Darkness, coupled with the bright lights of oncoming traffic, can make driving at night dangerous.
6. Get Plenty Of Rest
This is an important safety tip for every driver. Drowsy driving is one of the top causes of vehicle accidents. You can avoid this by choosing not to drive if you’re too tired, and by getting enough rest every night.
7. Make Sure Your Car Is In Good Working Order
Start by buying a vehicle that is easy to drive (power steering, automatic transmission). Make sure the headlights and windows are always clean, too.
If you have trouble with steering or reaching the pedals, your doctor or physical therapist can prescribe equipment that can help. This will make driving safer and more comfortable.
What to Do When You Have to Give Up Your License
As hard as we try to be safe, there may come a time when it’s not in our power to practice safe elderly driving habits anymore.
This is a concern to many seniors. Besides not liking the idea of giving up their independence, many worry that they won’t be able to take care of their needs, like shopping for groceries or picking up their prescriptions.
Thankfully, Intrepid USA can help.
Our home health care workers can help you with all sorts of chores around the house – cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. And they can help with running errands, shopping for food, and picking up your medications.
If you are able to practice safe senior driving – great! Keep it up. However, if you find that you can’t, remember that Intrepid is here to assist you. And we look forward to doing so.