You might think that grandma or grandpa shouldn’t drive anymore, but it might actually be good for their health. According to some experts, driving helps the elderly to feel more independent and have better self-esteem as a result. However, with the winter season right around the corner, it is important to practice safe driving. As people age, their hearing or sight may dull, making it more dangerous to drive. Thus, while seniors may want to continue driving despite their age, it is important for them to follow these tips for safe driving.
Make Sure to Regularly Have Your Vision Checked
Seniors do not have to take regular driving tests to continue to have a drivers license, so it is important that regular eye checks are performed to ensure that your vision is up to par. Once vision starts to deteriorate, seniors could respond slower to poor road conditions, hazards, or traffic signals. Additionally, seniors can have increased difficulty driving at night, which is why many seniors try and limit their driving to the day time hours. Likewise this is often why seniors avoid driving in bad weather, as it can be more difficult to see everything on the road and around them.
Plan Routes in Advance
Knowing where you are going is a must, but mapping out your exact route should also be done in advance of driving, if a you are not already comfortable with the route. Smartphones, computers, or even the traditional paper map can help seniors to achieve this goal of mapping out their routes. This provides seniors with added confidence when driving, and allows them to focus on driving safely.
Avoid Busy Roads
If you do not have to drive on busy streets, then you should avoid them, as they can be likely places for a senior to have an accident. There are many more distractions on a busy road, and typically more aggressive drivers who are impatient with all the cars on the road. Seniors should take the road less traveled if they have time, as it is a much safer option.
Drive a Senior Friendly Car
Seniors do not need too many fancy bells and whistles on their cars, but they do need to be able to easily use all the critical instruments in the car. This includes the defroster, blinkers, emergency lights, and other essential functions that are needed in daily driving. Many cars provide a simple layout, which is a good fit for seniors, as they can better focus on the road, and not be distracted looking for a button to hit.
However, despite these safety tips, most elderly people don’t want to hear that they’re not a good driver anymore. In fact, according to experts on aging, the only person that elderly people want to hear that news from is their doctor. Overall, it’s not an easy task to talk to elderly loved ones about such a sensitive subject. However, there are many support groups in town that can help with aging issues such as these.