Old age brings with it wisdom and experience, both of which can keep you safe on the road. However, they also bring health issues, vision and hearing loss, slower reaction times, and other deficits that can make driving much more dangerous. Studies show that a large number of fatalities on the road involve senior citizens, so there is a high risk to older
drivers on the road. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate this risk.
• Stay fit: Physical strength and flexibility both help prevent injury in an accident. In addition, regular exercise will help older drivers be more alert, quicker to act, and emotionally healthier, all of which can help out on the road.
• Mental exercise: Keeping mentally fit is another way to stay safe when driving. It can prevent dementia and memory loss, both of which can render you unable to drive. Activities such as crossword puzzles, reading, or playing an instrument can all help in this area.
• Manage chronic conditions: Diabetes and seizures are especially dangerous for drivers, so keeping on top of treatments for these is vital to safe driving. Consult with your doctor about your treatment options. Also note that some medications can make driving unsafe as well.
• Test your senses: Vision and hearing both degenerate with age, so getting proper assistance with managing vision or hearing loss is vital to safe driving. Glasses, contacts, hearing aids, and other treatments can keep you on the road longer.
• Slow down: Reflexes and decision-making both slow with age, but safe-driving practices can compensate for that. Slow down, give the car ahead plenty of space, and look into defensive driving courses.
• Avoid bad driving conditions: Rain, snow, sleet, hail, and fog, not to mention the darkness of night, can all make driving more dangerous for even the most competent motorists. In the later years of life, they become even more perilous since they compound on vision, hearing, and reflex issues. Plan ahead and avoid driving in bad road conditions.
In some cases, health issues may make driving far too dangerous to be worth risking. These situations are naturally unwelcome, but there is no shame in retiring from the road if your safety is at stake.
In many cases, an inability to drive can limit your ability to maintain connections with loved ones. If you or a loved one has found themselves in need of a strong community that eliminates the need for driving long distances, an assisted living facility or independent living community can provide. Senior Care Centers offers many care services for seniors, so contact us today.