Safety Tips for Senior Drivers
Driving can sometimes be challenging for older adults. As you get older, you'll likely notice physical changes that can make actions such as turning your head to look for oncoming traffic or driving at night more challenging. Still, getting older doesn't mean your driving days are over.
Consider the following tips for older drivers:
- Stay Physically Active
Staying physically active improves your strength and flexibility, which may help you turn the steering wheel and look over your shoulder. If you have not been active, be sure to get your doctor's permission before increasing your activity level.
- Manage Chronic Conditions
Work with your doctor to manage any chronic conditions that might affect your ability to drive safely. Always follow any driving restrictions suggested by your doctor, and be sure you understand your medications before taking them. Many drugs can affect your ability to drive safely, even when you're feeling fine.
- Schedule Regular Vision and Hearing Tests
Ask your doctor how frequently you should schedule vision and hearing tests. Even if you think your hearing and vision are fine, stick to your doctor's recommended exam schedule. Problems may be easier to correct if they are caught early.
- Drive Under the Best Conditions
When possible, drive during the daytime, in good weather, on quiet roads and in familiar areas. Avoid rush-hour traffic, and delay your trip if the visibility is poor. Beyond road conditions, make sure you're in the best condition to drive, too. Don't drive if you're tired or angry, and never drive after drinking alcohol.
- Plan ahead
Plan your route ahead of time so that you don't find yourself trying to figure out the way or read a map while driving.
- Consider Other Alternatives
Have you ever become confused while you're driving or concerned about your ability to drive safely?
Do loved ones or others sometimes express concern regarding your driving?
If so, it may be time to consider other alternatives. Perhaps you can take the bus, the subway, use a van service, or take advantage of other local transportation options. You can give up your car, without giving up your independence!