Understanding traffic laws and road signs is not all that you need to do for driving safety. As you get older, you will realize that certain actions such as braking safely or turning your head to check oncoming traffic becomes challenging due to physical changes. In order to stay safe on the road as you get older means you have to make some adjustments so you can account for the health condition and physical changes. It is undoubtedly possible for senior drivers to stay safe on the road.
You can visit the definitive list of driving safety resources for senior drivers and get all necessary guidelines you should be aware of. Apart from that, here ae top tips that can aid senior drivers in driving safely on the road:
1. Make sure you can see
You need to ensure that your eyesight allows you to see well enough when you are driving. Get your vision checked every 1 to 2 years. A number of vision problems like cataracts can arise and these can be treated by an eye doctor. If you wear contact lenses or glasses, you can consult your optometrist to know if you need a new prescription. Polarized sunglasses and antireflective lenses can be useful in reducing glare. You should drive only during the day if you have trouble seeing the roads in the dark. Make adjustments to your seat so you can see at least 10 feet ahead. Some states also require older drivers to have their vision tested before renewing their driver’s license and this has been known to reduce deaths amongst senior drivers.
2. Get your hearing checked
Driving safely involves ensuring you can hear properly and there are no problems. Get your hearing checked after every 3 years and get a hearing aid, if necessary. When you are driving, you should keep the inside of your car as quiet as possible. Limit conversations and turn the radio off if they can distract or affect your hearing. Lookout for the flashing lights of emergency vehicles if you may not be able to hear the siren from a distance.
3. Take note of attention and reaction time
As you age, your attention span and reaction time changes and you need to make adjustments accordingly. Don’t break early every time you need to stop and maintain some distance and space between you and the car in front. If possible, avoid going to high-traffic areas. It is best not to drive during rush hour, but if you have to, look for routes that have less traffic. Scan the road to anticipate any problems and prepare for them. Drive in the right-hand lane on the highway as it moves slowly.
4. Make adjustments for physical changes
Changes in your body can get in the way of your driving and they need to be addressed. If stiffness and pain gets in your way, consult your doctor and find a solution. Drive a car with large mirrors, power brakes and power steering as it is easier to handle and requires less effort. There is also special equipment available that can be used for operating foot pedals and steering. Eliminate your blind spot by checking your side mirror. Be physically active and exercise so your reflexes don’t get slower.
5. Check your medications
If you are on any medications, read the label carefully to see if it has any warnings. Ask your doctor if taking them will affect your driving. Avoid driving if you feel drowsy and lightheaded. Don’t drive if you are not sure about the effects of a particular medicine.
Take these precautions to ensure you are driving as safely as possible.