Many adults can drive safely well past their 70s, 80s, and beyond. However, seniors are linked to various physical challenges related to aging that can interfere with driving. It is so important for older drivers - and the people who care for them, such as family and friends - to evaluate and spread these helpful tips to keep them safer on the road.
The following tips are general tips and resources for safe drivers (for any age group)!
TIPS FOR SAFE, OLDER DRIVERS
Mute your cell phone before operating the vehicle - Texting or talking while driving is one of the most common distractions while being on the road. Leave your cell phone on "Do Not Disturb" and away from your surroundings while you're driving.
Always wear a seat belt - This one should be a no-brainer, considering 49 out of 50 states enforce it as a law to be buckled in every time you get in a vehicle. If it is uncomfortable, adjust the shoulder mount or purchase a pad that slips over the belt.
Do not eat and drink while driving - Eating and drinking while driving is a huge distraction, considering you need both hands to drive safely. It is best to pull over into a safe spot and finish your meal before hitting the road.
Drive during daylight as much as possible - Seniors with the best vision can even experience visual weaknesses at night. General darkness and glare from oncoming vehicles make it much more difficult to see.
Drive when there's less traffic -Rush hour traffic can be intense and stressful, especially for those who live in urban areas. Try to limit driving to those times when traffic is lighter.
Choose safer routes - Try to avoid highways, especially the ones with multiple ramps and excessive lanes. Is there an alternative route you can take to avoid the highway? Sometimes it’s better to go a little out of your way to avoid the difficulty of driving on the highway.
Know your medications - Certain medications can make you feel tired, less alert and can affect your reaction time. Some prescription medications may also place warnings on their labels to avoid driving after a particular time after ingesting the medicine.
You can probably guess our last tip to share, but you should always ensure that you or a senior you know is operating a safe, inspected vehicle. No matter the age, your vehicle should always be inspected and taken in for maintenance regularly. Luckily at Community Auto, we have top-line mechanics who can get the job done.