As you age, you tend to lose functionality for various abilities. Some of these abilities are relevant for proper driving, which is why many seniors find themselves in car accidents.
By reducing the risk factors and using safe driving strategies, you can continue to drive even during your later years. Here are various ways you can retain your driving license.
Understand the Effect of Age on Your Driving Abilities
There is no predefined age to should stop driving. However, some of the changes in your driving skills might make it more difficult for you to drive. As years advance, you are more likely to receive citations and face suspensions due to accidents. This is mainly attributable to the changes with age that include decreased vision, painful joints, slowed motor reflexes, and impaired hearing. When these set in, there are various outcomes:
- A painful or stiff neck will make it difficult for you to look over your shoulder to confirm how far a vehicle is before you turn, or to establish parking space.
- The strength of your arms reduces, which make it harder for you to turn the steering wheel quickly.
- With age, your reflexes become slower. It will take you more time to use emergency brakes, or spot vehicles emerging from side streets. You will also take more time to realize that the car in front of you has stopped.
- Leg pain can make it hard for you to move your foot from the gas pedal to the brake pedal quickly.
- Your memory begins to diminishes. You will find it harder to keep track of road signs, markings, and signals.
Go for Regular Checkups
You need to keep your body healthy so that you are in the best possible driving condition. Visit an optician regularly to have your eyes checked and to get current corrective lenses.
After the optician, go to the ENT specialist to have your ears checked. If you are using hearing aids, make sure they are working and always use them when driving.
Get Enough Sleep
Your body gets tired faster as you age. If you are driving for long distances, make sure you schedule regular stops to rest. If you are on any medications that make you feel drowsy, consult with your doctor to change the medicine.
Choose the Right Car
The type of car will also affect your driving capability. A manual transmission vehicle will need more effort, which might require too much energy. Find a car that has an automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. Additionally, take your car for regular maintenance and check ups.
Learn Defensive Driving
Defensive driving doesn’t mean pushing people out of the way for you to have all the space. It simply means that you leave adequate space for the next vehicle, you avoid distractions, and you allow sufficient braking distance.
Regardless of your age, you might still find yourself in an accident. When this happens, call Seth Gladstein or fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.