Generally, as the years go by, staying safe while driving independently becomes more critical as your senses or those of an elderly loved one may no longer be the same. However, by following some of the tips we want to provide to help our older population maintain their confidence behind the wheel, you will be able to continue this practice for as long as possible:
1. Be aware of your health status:
Maintaining good health is essential for driving safely. Regular checkups with your doctor can help you address any health problems that may affect your ability to drive.
2. Stay alert while behind the wheel:
Vision and hearing can decline with age, so make sure your glasses or hearing aids are up to date in case you have hearing or vision problems. This will significantly improve your awareness on the road, and you will be aware of your surroundings.
3. Choose to drive the correct vehicle:
Consider choosing a vehicle that suits your needs and driving skills to make your trips more comfortable and safe. Opt for a car with comfortable seats, easy-access controls, and good visibility of the road.
4. Plan your routes before leaving home:
Avoid unknown or more challenging routes and even remember them whenever possible. Planning your trips in advance and following familiar paths can help reduce stress and improve safety by knowing the roads you are traveling on.
5. Avoid any type of distraction:
Avoid distractions in the car by keeping conversations to a minimum, silence your phone, and try not to use it while behind the wheel.
6. Consider taking a refresher course:
Taking a driving course can help seniors update their skills, improve them, and even stay informed about the latest traffic rules.
7. Check the weather before you leave:
Adverse weather conditions can be a challenge for people of any age. However, it increases the risk more for older adults. If the weather is bad, consider postponing your trip or ask for help.
For our older drivers, it is a challenge that can certainly be successfully overcome with the right mindset, preparation, and self-awareness as long as you are a healthy, independent person. Remember that your safety and that of your loved ones comes first.