Smart Moves for Senior Drivers
The ability to drive is an important element in maintaining one’s independence, but as we age it may get more challenging. There are safe driving tips that everyone, especially elders, can use to drive more safely. These tips include:
1. Avoid driving at night if you have trouble with your vision, and don’t tint your windows.
2. Avoid driving during periods of high traffic, typically during morning, lunch and evening commute times.
3. Keep your windshield, headlights and mirror clean to improve visibility.
4. Raise your seat high enough so you have a clear view of the road. Sit on a small pillow if necessary.
5. Limit distracting noise inside the vehicle. This includes the radio and conversations with passengers and use of cell phones.
6. Watch for flashing lights of emergency vehicles if you have difficult hearing. Stay alert.
7. Keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead so you have ample time to brake safely if necessary.
8. Allow adequate stopping distances.
9. Keep windshield wiper blades in proper working condition.
10. If possible, drive a car with an automatic transmission.
11. Get periodic vision and hearing tests. Get hearing aids and new glasses when needed.
12. Take a defensive driving course offered through the AARP or the American Automobile Association. Some insurance policies may offer price discounts when individuals take these courses.
13. Carefully read medication labels to see if they may impair driving skills.
14. Don’t drive if you’re feeling tired, lightheaded or stressed.
15. Avoid driving during inclement weather.
16. Use other transportation services such as taxis and buses if you’re unsure of your ability to drive safely.
17. Drive on familiar streets and limit trips to those close to home.
18. Always wear your seat belt.
19. Keep your headlights on at all times.
20. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about continuing to drive.
It is not unusual to hear jokes about the effects of aging, but it’s no laughing matter when it comes to driving. Drivers over the age of 60 are at a higher risk for serious injury or death from car accidents than the rest of the population. As Seattle auto accident and personal injury attorneys, we feel that advances in auto safety, as well as continual self-evaluation, can help keep senior drivers safely cruising along well into their retirement years.
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