Top 5 Senior Driving Safety Tips
Slowing down is a natural part of getting older. Time marches on whether we notice it or not, but hopefully you find a way to stop and enjoy your sunset years before it’s all over and done with. Senior citizens offer a wealth of value to anyone who takes the time to look for it. With decades of wisdom, seniors understand more about the way of the world than most of us will ever know. But one thing that does become troubling as you age is driving. Seniors are involved in more than their fair share of automobile accidents, and for many seniors driving is a terrifying affair avoided at all costs. But you don’t want to end up sedentary and stuck, and if you remain proactive, there’s no reason you can’t keep driving safely and happily well into retirement. Here are five of the top senior driving safety tips to help you do just that.
First off, try to remain physically active in the rest of your life. Our bodies degrade over time, but regular exercise slows that process down significantly. All it takes is thirty minutes of moderate physical activity a day, be that dancing, working out or a simple walk in the park. But that effort will help you maintain strength, flexibility and mental acumen. That’s everything you need to remain a good driver late in life.
It’s also a great idea to have your hearing and vision regularly tested. These are two of the faculties that tend to weaken as you age, but modern science and technology can help you successfully manage the problem. Make sure you have eye and ear exams twice a year. That way you won’t be driving around with undiagnosed issues that could lead to unsafe driving conditions. Glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and hearing loss can all be treated, slowed and sometimes reversed, as long as you know the problems exist.
You also must be diligent about handling any chronic ailments that could get in the way of safe driving. Seizures and diabetes don’t have to prevent you from getting behind the wheel, but if you miss doctor’s visits or skip your medication you could end up in a seriously dangerous situation. Keep up with your checkups for all of these issues, so your doctor can make sure you are on the proper treatment path. And take the time to understand any side effects that could be caused by a medication. Some drugs impair your ability to operate a vehicle, and it is up to you to know this is the case before you get behind the wheel.
Once the physical side is handled, take care of the mental and emotional side by planning out your driving needs. Try to get all of your chores taken care of in one trip, so you don’t have to keep going back out. Pay attention to weather forecasts, so you aren’t stuck driving in rain or snow. And plan out your schedule to minimize the amount of night driving you have to do. Be aware of the landmarks around you on your trip, and set your GPS device before you even get in the car. You want all of your attention on the road, not on figuring out where you are going.
Finally, think about refreshing your driving skills with a class. Most communities offer a driving course specifically for the needs of seniors. You can work out the kinks in a safe environment, without any fear of accidents or making a fool of yourself. And as an added bonus, you might end up earning a discount on your car insurance policy after completing a course like this. If your policy doesn’t honor driving classes, check out CheapAutoInsurance.org to find other options.