As you get older, the need to drive doesn’t seem to slow down though it may be a bit tougher as your motor skills and response and reaction times tend to slow with age. Keeping yourself and other drivers on the road safe is the number one priority and with roads more crowded than ever with cars, minimizing your chances for risk and accident will help make sure that you stay safe and can continue to drive wherever you may need to go. Now, aging doesn’t automatically mean that all of your driving ability will just magically disappear but it’s important that you make the proper modifications and adjustments to your vehicle and your driving habits to keep yourself safe. These are just a few of the easiest ways to maximize your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road.
- Make Your Health Your Top Priority– Staying in shape is a great way to extend the time you can drive and regular check ups will not only help your driving but also your overall condition. Having your eyes and hearing checked annually will make sure that your corrective lenses are current so that if you need a change in prescription or hearing aids you can get them before needing to drive anywhere. You can also talk with a doctor about any side effects medications may have on your driving abilities. The last step to ensuring you’re in good enough health for driving is to get plenty of sleep each night, this is key for your motor skills to stay as sharp as possible and to make sure that you can stay alert for any potential hazards or sudden split decisions you may need to make.
- Choose the Proper Car for You– If you’re an older driver, finding the right car will go a long way to helping make driving simple for you as well. Choosing a car with automatic transmission and power steering and brakes will minimize how active you have to be with the actual process of driving and will allow more attention and focus to be paid to the road and other drivers. Once you’ve got your vehicle, be sure to have routine maintenance performed annually as well as maintaining clean and operational headlights and windows/windshields.
- Drive Defensively– Distracted driving now more than ever is all too common on the roads; with cell phones being used for music, GPS and texting, chances are that you’ll need to start driving more defensively to help keep you safer. To do this, leave extra room for the car ahead of you and pay extra attention when at an intersection, you should also be sure you’re traveling with the flow of traffic and not too fast or too slow. Avoid all potential distractions for you like talking on the phone or reading GPS or maps. If you need to clarify directions, first pull over when possible and also be sure to leave yourself enough room to brake safely in case of sudden stops or wet/icy conditions.
- Know Your Limitations Behind the Wheel– An important part of driving as you get older is accepting the limitations in your abilities and conditions when it comes to driving. This means that if you feel uncomfortable in a certain situation or condition then to schedule your driving around those times. Typically avoided conditions are usually during the night, especially if your eyesight is worse in the night and then also during the mid afternoon when traffic will be heavier due to after school traffic and other times like weekends where there will be more and more drivers on the roads. Knowing your limitations will help ensure that you only drive when completely confident and capable.
As you get older, you may not be driving as much as you used to but when you do need to drive, it’s just as important as ever. While your reflexes and eyesight may lead to limitations on what times and how often you drive but knowing and understanding your limitations will help you stay prepared so that when you do drive it will be confidently to maximize your safety and the safety of other drivers out on the road.