Driving is one of those things we tend to take for granted once we become adults, but as we reach senior status it is one of those freedoms we become reluctant to part with. In order to maintain independence as long as we can, it's a good idea to follow these simple Safe Driving Tips For Seniors.
5 Safe Driving Tips For Seniors
Tip #1: Get Annual Sight and Hearing Check-Ups
We aren't as sharp as we used to be when we age; that's just a fact of life. And, sadly, it's often our eyes and our ears that we have problems with first. As such, if you're going to keep driving as you get older, it's important to make sure you regularly get your eyes and ears tested. If you need them, you need to make sure you have any prescriptions for glasses, hearing aids, etc. up-to-date before you get behind the wheel.
Tip #2: Make Sure Your Medications Aren't An Issue
Another thing we have to deal with as we get older is taking medicine. Most seniors take more pills in one day than they would have taken in a month when they were younger. While these medicines can be necessary for controlling ailments, they can often make it unsafe to drive. This is particularly true if there's an interaction between two of your medications that slows your reflexes, makes you sleepy, or has other problems. Driving under the influence is no more acceptable when you're older than it is when you're younger, even if the drugs you're taking are a necessity.
Tip #3: Avoid Rush Hour
One of the advantages of being a senior is that you tend to have a freer schedule. If you're retired, or you've scaled back your presence in the workforce, then you should use that freedom to drive at times, and on routes, that won't be clogged with cars. Avoid the lunch rush, and the after-work tidal wave of commuters, by using the advantages you do have. The less traffic you have to deal with, the fewer hazards will get in your way.
Tip #4: Have Your Car Serviced (And Consider An Automatic Transmission)
Seniors have to spend a lot of time making sure they will be safe behind the wheel, but they should be equally concerned that their car is up to snuff. For example, while many seniors may have grown up with a manual transmission, it's often a good idea to switch to an automatic one. The fewer actions required for you to drive safely (especially actions that depend on your reflexes), the safer a driver you'll be. Make sure your fluids are topped off, that your oil has been checked, and that your windshield wipers will get the job done. Lastly, make sure your tires have plenty of grip in case you need to stop in a hurry.
Tip #5: Leave Other Drivers Some Extra Room
If you're not alone on the road (which you rarely will be), make sure you leave plenty of space between yourself and the other drivers. You need to have time to react, and sometimes giving yourself an extra few seconds can be the difference between a close call, and a horrible accident. While you might get impatient, remember what you were told when you were young and first started driving. Better to show up late than to not show up at all.
These are just a few, simple things seniors can do to stay safe on the road.