Driving gives people of all ages a sense of independence and freedom. However, as you age, your driving skills often decline.
Your reaction time, vision, and ability to concentrate typically gets worse. If you wish to continue to drive as an older adult, you must implement these tips to be extra safe while driving.
Conduct Regular Eye Exams
People’s vision tends to deteriorate gradually, making it increasingly challenging to see things clearly. That’s why it’s crucial to prioritize regular comprehensive eye exams.
These exams catch potential vision issues early on and give you the chance to change your prescription in case your eyes worsen. When you take proactive measures to address them, you can guarantee your eyes are ready to see the road, traffic lights, and other cars.
Avoid Driving in Bad Weather Conditions
You watch the news and see the weather forecast. The rain, fog, strong winds, snow, or ice looks rough, but you believe you’re tougher. The truth is that driving in dangerous weather isn’t worth the risk.
Older adults often have slower reaction times and can’t see clearly. Consider postponing your trip or arranging for alternative transportation just to be safe.
Get Your Vehicle Serviced Regularly
It’s difficult to feel confident while driving when you don’t know if your car is in good shape. Routine checks on vital parts, such as brakes, tires, lights, and the windshield, are vital to prevent accidents.
Doing oil changes, checking the engine, cleaning foggy headlights, and replacing burned-out taillights are all essential from time to time. Not to mention, mechanics can conduct transmission maintenance for a long-lasting car to ensure you’re driving a safe, reliable vehicle.
Modify the Interior for Ample Comfort
Comfort is the key when driving. You need to have easy access to the brake and gas pedals, see each of the mirrors clearly, and reach the steering wheel without issue. When any of these factors are slightly imbalanced, they can throw off your awareness and driving abilities.
The steering wheel and pedals should all be at a comfortable distance from your hands and feet. Adequate lumbar support can alleviate back pain and discomfort during long drives. Seat cushions or supports can make a significant difference too. Remember that the more comfortable you feel in the car, the safer you will be on the road.
Take As Many Breaks As You Need on Long Drives
Sitting for long periods causes stiffness, discomfort, and blood circulation issues. While modifying the vehicle’s interior can help with these symptoms, you should take regular breaks during long drives.
It’s also important to note that continuous driving can lead to mental fatigue, affecting alertness and concentration. Therefore, aim to stop every two hours or so to stretch your legs, rest your eyes, and refresh your mind. You can use these breaks to hydrate, have a snack, or even enjoy a scenic view. This rejuvenates you so that you’re responsive to traffic.
As an older adult, you want to retain your independence for as long as you can. Enforcing each of these tips to be extra safe while driving will prolong your driving abilities.