Seniors, like almost everyone else, love to drive. But the fact is as drivers get older, it sometimes becomes harder to drive effectively. For many senior, unwanted changes occur in their ability to drive and perform basic road functions, which can ultimately lead to putting themselves and others in danger.
Well, things are taking a turn for the better for senior drivers. This is because seniors are taking more responsibility to drive safer and longer. Here are six ways seniors can help themselves drive better, safer, and longer.
Stay Alert and Active
With a decline in physical capabilities, some seniors have to make the tough decision to give up driving. Staying physically alert and active, and maintaining excellent health, allow seniors to maintain flexibility in body, mind, and spirit.
In a bid to drive safely and maintain great health, seniors can take on various activities to keep alert and fit. This includes daily stretches, walking, gardening, swimming, and even yoga.
Practice Defensive Driving—even take a Course
Defensive driving is a great thing to learn at any time of one’s driving life. For seniors, it is even more essential in order to stay safe. A course in defensive driving might be something that can make a big difference in extending one’s driving.
- Defensive driving isn’t difficult for anyone willing to pick up on it.
- Don’t drive during rush hour.
- If you don’t like to drive too fast, then drive streets and roads that have a lesser speed limit.
- Avoid driving in bad weather and at night.
- Keep a safe distance from other drivers and don’t tailgate.
One way for seniors to keep driving in a safe manner, and for a long time, is by taking a driving course specifically geared to senior drivers. This helps stay updated on the latest technologies, new laws, and the unwritten rules of traffic.
Courses can run the gamut and the completion of certain driving courses might even qualify senior drivers for car insurance discounts.
New car technologies can assist senior drivers extend their independence behind the wheel. Cars have indeed come a long way with some even sporting autonomous features. Seniors should take advantage of these technologies to keep driving safely.
Vehicular upgrades come in different forms. Features could include adaptive cruise control, better headlamps, lane departure warning systems, and forward auto-braking. Even self-parking systems are now coming to newer vehicles. With such systems in place, seniors can now perhaps extend driving themselves a bit longer.
Utilize Consultants and Specialists
This is a game-changer as far as senior driving is concerned. There are many driver rehabilitation consultants and specialists to help older citizens who need assistance in adapting driving to their own abilities. For instance, a consultant can help a senior driver with advice on vehicle modifications, tips on how to stay alert while driving, and driving times to avoid.
Seniors may also receive some perks by using these specialists, such as discounts on services they use. In return, seniors will become more confident about their driving.
Medications and Driving
Various medications can certainly affect anyone who drives, but seniors may be particularly affected. For example, a number of medications have the side effects of drowsiness and/or loss of concentration—not a great mix for driving. For this reason, older citizens need to take note of the side effects associated with all medications they use. In most cases, they will need to avoid taking such medicines before driving or don’t drive when they do. This often makes the difference in driving longer and staying safe.
Doctors and specialists are available to help seniors decide what’s best for them, especially if it involves driving. By providing assessments, doctors may counsel older drivers and even place certain restrictions on how and when they drive.
Some drivers have issues with night vision. Seniors are not left out of this problem and often need to stick to daytime driving. During the day, it’s easier to navigate familiar routes. Seniors and others with night vision issues should plan trips during daylight hours and try to limit any nighttime driving.
In addition to daytime driving, seniors need to go for regular vision and hearing tests. This helps them cope better with what they see and hear while driving.
Driving is beneficial to seniors and helps them have a measure of independence. This is why most do all they can to improve their driving skills so they can stay safer and increase their chances of being in control of their vehicles and their mobility.
Becky Holton is a journalist and a blogger at essay writing service uk. She is interested in education technologies, assignment help and is always ready to support informative speaking at coursework writing service. Follow her on Twitter.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.