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Seven Senior Driving Safety Suggestions

All Tech Automotive cares about the safety of the drivers on the road, especially mature drivers. We found this article on safety suggestions mature drivers should consider. These are only suggestions and any mature driver should consult their doctor with any questions. 

Just because you've aged doesn't mean your driving safety should be compromised. With a few adjustments and an acute awareness of your abilities, you can continue to drive without feeling like you're in danger of a collision. 

To stay safe the next time you get behind the wheel, consider these 7 safety suggestions geared towards senior drivers. 

1) Take Stock of Your Health

As you age, physical and mental changes can affect your ability to operate a vehicle safely. Schedule regular appointments with your physician to monitor:

  • Pain or stiffness in your joints - This may affect your ability to control the steering wheel or turn to look into safety mirrors.
  • Any chronic conditions - Diabetes, seizures, and other conditions could affect your safety on the road. It's best to discuss your driving options with your doctor before operating a vehicle.
  • Fatigue - This can be a problem depending on the length of your trip.
  • Stress - If your stress levels are high, driving could aggravate any other health conditions you may have. It's best to speak with your doctor about lowering your stress levels before you drive, especially if you are at risk for any heart-related health conditions.

2) Schedule Hearing & Vision Tests

In addition to visiting your doctor for general health checkups, vision and hearing screenings also need to be performed regularly. Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your safety out on the road:

If you wear glasses or contact lenses, always have them while driving. Be aware of conditions that might affect your vision, such as:

  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Macular Degeneration

If you feel like your vision is worsening, consult with your optometrist.

Recognize signs of trouble seeing at night; if so, you may need to stick to daytime driving only.

If you have problems hearing other vehicles or emergency sirens when you drive, you may need to check with your doctor to see if you need a hearing aid. 

Keep the noise inside the vehicle to a minimum.

This includes music and conversations with your passengers.

3) Be Realistic About Your Limitations

As you age, it's important to simply be aware of and honest about any limitations that you find yourself up against, so that you can be proactive about making the necessary adjustments to ensure your safety - and that of all other drivers around you. 

Some of these adjustments can include:

  • Increase your following distance - by doing so, you can allow yourself more reaction time when it's time to hit the brakes. 
  • Use brakes early - when you first see that a stop sign, red light, or other obstacle is approaching, begin braking early. This will help you avoid the need for a hard brake at the last minute, and could also compensate for any dissonance in your spatial awareness. 
  • Avoid busy areas - When there's a lot happening at once, your awareness of your surroundings will suffer. Try to find alternative routes with less traffic congestion.
  • Try to anticipate rather than react - Scan as far down the road as possible. This will help you plan your course of action instead of having to react suddenly. 

4) Check Your Medications

Certain medications can affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle. For each of the medications you have been prescribed, be sure to:

  • Read the label carefully - If it states that you should not drive or operate heavy machinery while taking the medication, do not drive.
  • Ask the pharmacist about the medication when it's prescribed - If the medication is known to affect driving ability, the pharmacist may be able to adjust your dosage or recommend at time of day when it's best to take them. 
  • Avoid driving if you feel drowsy or lightheaded

 

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