Since all of us rely on our ability to get around safely and most of us drive, we are well aware that as we age, there may come a time when we are no longer able or allowed to drive. Senior driving should be a positive thing not something to worry about. So here are certain things you can do that will help you to keep driving as long as possible.
Senior Driving Tips
Taking care of yourself is always important but it is even more important if you wish to keep driving. Since some diseases and conditions have been linked to the likelihood of having an accident, the best thing you can do for yourself is stick to a healthy diet, stay in shape and go to the doctor regularly for checkups.
See your optometrist regularly. Macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma, dry eyes and floaters can all affect how well you can see, which in turn can lead to accidents while driving. Wear proper eyewear and/or also prescription sunglasses if you need them. Also have your hearing checked. It is essential that you can hear what is going on around you and are able to recognize the sound of emergency vehicles.
Stay limber and flexible. Stiffness in any part of your body, but particularly in the neck and arms can lead to a slower response time and difficulty making turns. Pain in your legs or numbness causes a lack of feeling and can make it difficult to move your foot from the gas to the brake pedal.
Get enough sleep. A tired driver is one who is not alert. Reaction time slows as you age and so does your ability to concentrate on multiple items. If you are tired, don’t drive.
Access any available community resources. Refresher courses are available in many cities which focus on senior driving skills. They keep you up to date on new driving laws and have tests that you can take to discern just how well you drive.
Find out about your medications and how they may affect you and if you should be driving while taking them. Many cause sleepiness or a lack of alertness and you shouldn’t be driving while taking these medications.
Try to own or lease a newer vehicle as they have time saving and safety technological devices built in which will make it easier for you to drive. Make sure the vehicle fits you and you fit the vehicle.
Adjust your seat and mirrors to the proper height to ensure you can see everything and reach everything.
Eventually the time may come when you can no longer drive, however staying fit, aware and informed will keep you driving well into your senior years. And senior driving is important for your well-being and independence.