4 Driving Safety Considerations Older Drivers Need to Keep in Mind
For someone who was active their whole life, realizing that they’re not as spry as they once were—especially when it comes to driving—might come as a nasty shock.
Realizing that you might have to be dependent on someone else for things like basic transportation is not something that’s easy to get on board with, after all.
But if you find yourself in this position, keep in mind that driving safety is important. Not just for your sake, but for other drivers and pedestrians as well. According to a 2015 news article from Consumer Reports, 14 million Americans were involved in accidents that were primarily caused by drivers over the age of 65.
This is why it’s crucial that you take some factors into consideration before hitting the road.
1. Physical Fitness
The fact of the matter is that your physical fitness isn’t what it was 20 years ago. And you need to be reactive, agile, and flexible enough to take the necessary steps to avoid accidents or collisions. In short, you need to still have good reflexes. You can keep yourself fit by power walking or opting for stretch exercises to keep your joints strong. But it always helps if you go to your physician to get an update on whether you should be behind the wheel or not.
2. Sensory Perception
Remember; objects in your passenger side mirror may be closer than they appear. Not being able to perceive distance, getting confused with directions, not being able to see or hear clearly—all of these are indicators that you might be experiencing some age-related sensory problems. You’ll need to get yourself checked and make sure to get the doctor’s approval before driving.
Take a defensive driving course. Switch your old manual car for an automatic car if changing gears is confusing you. Search for courses on driving safety that are especially for older adults in your local community. If you do face difficulties, never be afraid to ask for help when learning.
Be honest with yourself. If you know you won’t be able to drive safely on the road, don’t let your ego get in the way. Accept the fact that you’ll either need to choose a different vehicle or simply abstain from driving.
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None of this will be a problem if you choose to live in either our assisted living or independent living community. We offer scheduled transportation 6 days a week using luxury cars such as a Lincoln Town Car and a Mercedes Sprinter Van so you should have no trouble going about errands in California.