Just because you’ve aged doesn’t mean your driving safety should be compromised. With a few adjustments and an awareness of your abilities, you can continue to drive without feeling like you’re in danger of a collision.
Take Stock of Your Health
As you age, physical and mental changes can affect your ability to operate a vehicle safely. Schedule regular appointments with your physician to monitor:
- Pain or stiffness in your joints
- chronic conditions
Schedule Hearing & Vision Tests
Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your safety out on the road:
- If you wear glasses or contact lenses, always have them while driving.
- Consult with your optometrist if you feel like your vision might be worsening.
- Recognize signs of trouble seeing at night and during the daytime.
- Keep the noise inside the vehicle to a minimum.
Be Realistic About Your Limitations
Be proactive about making the necessary adjustments to ensure your safety—and that of all other drivers around you:
- Increase your following distance.
- Use breaks early and often.
- Avoid busy areas.
- Anticipate rather than react.
Check Your Medications
Certain medications can affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle:
- Read you medication label carefully.
- Avoid driving if you feel drowsy or lightheaded.
Adjust Your Driving Position
Adjusting the position of the driver’s seat, you can make it easier to:
- Control the vehicle.
- See your side mirrors.
- Recognize obstacles down the road.
- Reach the gas pedal and brake.
Avoid Dangerous Conditions
Try to avoid the following driving conditions when possible:
- Inclement weather.
- Nighttime driving.
- During rush hour.
Take a Mature Driver Course
Brushing up on your driving skills and refreshing your memory as it relates to the rules of the road can boost your confidence and help you stay safe while driving:
Enrolling in a senior driving course may also help you to learn:
- Defensive driving techniques.
- Updated state-specific laws, including those related to
- Avoiding distracted driving.
- Making right-of-way decisions.