As we age, certain conditions can make driving more challenging and might even become dangerous for some seniors. Changes in health like loss of vision and hearing, or a change in medications can affect the ability to safely and operate a vehicle. However, there are various precautions that can be taken to ensure the safety senior drivers and others on the road. Help your senior stay safe on the road with these tips:
- Visit Your Doctor Regularly. As we get older, it’s extremely important to maintain your relationship with your healthcare provider. Scheduling consistent appointments allows your doctor and their staff to more quickly understand your body and conditions. It’s also a good idea to keep track of your medications and note any changes in type or dosage. If your medication changes, your doctor will be able to decipher if you should or shouldn’t be behind the wheel.
- Schedule appointments for hearing and vision tests. The ability to see and hear are crucial when it comes to operating a vehicle. Sometimes, hearing or seeing abilities can fade slowly, making it more difficult to notice a change. Getting your hearing and vision tested often and consistently will help identify any changes that might put you at-risk on the road.
- Get Fitted to Your Car. Driving without the proper adjustments can cause slow reactions or muscle and joint pain. AAA offers car fitting and seniors. This means a professional will help adjust your seat, mirrors, and steering wheel to keep you comfortable and safe.
- Put Electronics Away. Many accidents are cause by distracted drivers. Make sure to put your cell phone or any other electronic device away before getting behind the wheel. This will minimize your chances of becoming distracted and decreases the risk of causing or participating in a car accident.
- Understand Your Limitations. When you’re on the road, you should be aware of your own boundaries. Know what makes you uncomfortable. Some seniors avoid busy areas, driving at night, and using the highway. It’s important to think about what you are comfortable with and taking necessary precautions.
- Keep Your Skills Sharp. There are many different driving classes available for seniors. As we get older, it’s important to keep our driving skills fresh. Participating in classes can ensure our safety, while also providing tools that make good drivers, even better ones.
Our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky are always trying to keep our patients and their families safe. When it comes to staying safe on the road, what tips do you use?