Driving can be more of a challenge for seniors due to numerous factors such as slow motor functions, vision or hearing impairments, and decreased reaction times. However, over the last 2 decades, the number of senior drivers with licenses has increased by 60%. Driving allows seniors to remain mobile and independent. Seniors recover less quickly and less fully than others after an accident, so it is important to implement safety tips when on the road. Here are some driving tips for seniors.
Driving Tips For Seniors
1. Get your vision and hearing tested regularly. These senses tend to decline as we age, so it is imperative to regularly get tested.
2. Avoid distractions when driving. Don’t eat and leave your phone on silent while driving. If it is urgent, pull into a safe area such as a parking lot to use your phone.
3. Drive in the daylight and good weather conditions. Darkness and hazardous conditions such as rain, snow, wind, and ice make driving dangerous for seniors. If you need to get somewhere, consider using a transportation service, public transit, or ask a family member or friend for a ride.
4. Choose safer routes. If you don’t feel comfortable using highways or driving on major streets, plan ahead or leave earlier so you can get to your destination on time.
5. Be aware of the side effects of your medications. Many medications can impair driving by causing you to feel drowsy, which can in turn affect your attention span and reaction time. Talk to your health care provider to determine whether your medications will affect your driving ability.
6. Try to drive when there is less traffic. Rush hour traffic can be stressful for everyone, but especially for seniors, so try to limit driving then.
7. Keep your car in good working condition. Ensure that windshields, headlights, and mirrors are clean. In addition, take your car in for regular check-ups where services such as tune-ups and oil changes can be performed.
If you haven’t driven in a while and want to start again, consider taking a refresher course before hitting the road. There are numerous formal and informal refresher courses available.
If you are deemed no longer eligible to drive or you don’t feel safe on the road anymore, don’t worry! The Boom Health app provides a professional, vetted, and caring senior transportation service that takes you or your loved one where you need to be in comfort and safety. Find the app on the App Store or Google Play Store.