5 Safety Tips for Senior Drivers
As people get older, it’s only natural that some of their skills decline. This includes driving, which is important to do safely since you’re putting other people at risk on the road if you’re becoming a shaky driver. Here are five safety tips for senior drivers.
Take a Self-Assessment Test
One of the easiest ways for seniors to see if they’re still safe to drive on the road is to take a self-assessment test. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety created Roadwise Review Online, a free online tool that seniors can use to test their physical and mental abilities. This includes mobility, memory, vision, leg strength, and neck and head flexibility. These are all basic skills needed for safe driving. You can take the test every six months to compare results and see if anything is starting to decline.
Get Tested Professionally
An even better way to see if seniors are safe on the road is to get tested professionally. A driving instructor can perform a professional assessment in the state you live in to see what areas need improvement. This usually costs around $100 to $200, and extra training is usually available for $75 to $150 per hour. Doing this is a great way to get personalized attention so seniors can continue to drive but remain safer.
One of the best things seniors can do is stay healthy. You should exercise on a regular basis by doing appropriate levels of cardio, strength training, and stretching. This can make you a better and safer driver overall. If you have a condition that can affect your driving, such as diabetes, talk to your doctor about controlling it. You can also talk to your doctor about medications and driver safety. Two-thirds of people 65 and older take five or more medications each day that can affect driving, according to AAA.
Plan Trips in Advance
While it’s convenient that most people now have a smartphone that has GPS or a car with a navigation system, this can be a hazard if the driver tries to set it up in the middle of driving. This is just as distracting as texting during driving, so the route needs to be set in advance. The driver should either call the place ahead of time for directions or program their GPS while the car is still parked. This way they can just listen to the cues of where to turn.
Stay in the Comfort Zone
Driving as a senior can already be challenging, so you shouldn’t take on extra difficulties that take you out of your comfort zone. If you don’t like driving at night due to your vision, this should be avoided. If traffic makes you uneasy, avoid routes with traffic or go to stores at times that aren’t as busy.
These are all helpful tips on ways to keep seniors safer on the road. This ends up keeping those around them safe as well.
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