For many people, driving is a great form of independence, however, the older we get the less effective our driving gets. During our younger years, getting behind the wheel is exhilarating and exciting which is why we tend to forget about all the safety rules and etiquettes. But as we age we tend to become more conservative with our driving, which is why it’s so important to take greater care of our habits. Although many elderly people can safely drive well into their 70’s and 80’s, it may not always be the best of ideas. Nevertheless, if you or a family member are elderly and still driving around be sure to not only take care of your health but follow these great tips to ensure safe driving.
This tip is one of the most essential ones and shouldn’t be forgotten about. Most of us are guilty of some sort of distraction whilst driving. Whether it’s listening to music or podcasts or even chatting to the passengers in your car. These should definitely be avoided, especially by older drivers. We highly recommend that you mute your cellphone while driving unless you need it for emergencies. Other useful tips include; avoid eating and drinking while driving.
Avoid Driving In Bad Weather
This tip may not always be so obvious, especially for senior drivers. Snow, fog, heavy rain, and other dangerous weather conditions can be very risky for older drivers. Unless it’s very necessary, avoid driving in these conditions and rather wait until it clears before you get back on the road. If you really must travel, try to use public transportation or an Uber.
Check Your Medications
As we get older, our health usually takes a turn for the worst. This means that many elderly people are managing their health issues with prescription medication. If this is the case, always be sure to read the labels and look out for side effects. If the medication warns against operating heavy machinery, do not drive! If you are still unsure you can always contact your doctor and get their advice.
Always Wear Your Seatbelt
Wearing a seatbelt while driving can easily save your life which is why you always need to buckle up before starting the car. But be sure that it’s really comfortable and if necessary you can buy a shoulder pad that slips over the belt.
Schedule Regular Hearing & Vision Tests
Staying on top of your health the older we get is so vital! Regular checkups are crucial to keep you in the best possible driving shape. As we age, people’s hearing and vision can deteriorate, so if you are still driving at an older age – be sure to check with your doctor what the best way is to evaluate your eyes and ears. Many vision problems can make it difficult to see clearly when driving, especially at night. While impaired hearing can affect your ability to hear oncoming traffic, such as emergency vehicles.