Safety Tips for Senior Drivers
Driving Abilities can Wane Over Time
As we age we look forward to certain milestones. Turning 10 and advancing into the double digits is a big one. As a teenager, getting your driver’s license is one. Graduation, 18th birthdays, college, marriage… they’re all parts of our lives that we eagerly await. But what about those milestones that nobody looks forward to? How about that milestone of no longer being able to safely drive your vehicle?
Nobody wants to hand over their license and admit that they can’t do it anymore. So as you age, you want to make sure you stay on top of your safe driving. There are things you can do to delay the time when you should commit to no longer driving. And it all starts with your health.
Stay Physically Active
Being active wasn’t hard when we were young. Our energy levels were through the roof, and most of us didn’t have to be asked twice to go outside and play. As our metabolism slows down, we often become more sedentary. As we age, and those aches and pains that come with it, we become even more sedentary.
Driving isn’t a rigorous physical activity, but being alert and being able to respond quickly all depends on us maintaining our physical fitness.
Have Regular Exams
When was the last time you had your vision or your hearing checked? If you’re like most people, you have put this off for far too long! Sight and hearing deteriorate the older we get. If you are over 55 years old, then you should be getting checked at least once each year.
Studies have shown that hearing decline has been linked to mental illnesses like dementia. Fortunately hearing aids, which are like glasses for your ears, can stave that off and help you remain safe on the road.
Know Your Limits
If you were a star athlete when you were younger, and now you have trouble standing up, you know your limits (whether we want to admit them or not!). Before you get behind the wheel, understand what you can, and cannot, do. For instance, does your arthritis prevent you from gripping the steering wheel for long periods of time? A steering wheel cover may help with that.
Modern vehicles are equipped with a lot of safety features that can take the pressure off of you. Back up cameras make it so you don’t need to twist, and large speedometer displays are easier to read.
Put the Phone Away
Unless you’re using hands-free, just put it away. No matter what your age.
If you need help, check out how you can turn on Do Not Disturb While Driving.
Take a Senior Driving Course
Senior doesn’t have to mean “really old”. In fact, senior driving courses are designed for those over the age of 55. And here’s the good news: many insurance companies will actually give you a discount, sometimes up to 10%, if you take a senior defensive driving course. That could be a big chunk of change in your pocket. Even if you don’t feel you need the course, you’ll end up learning something and saving money!
Big Sky Collision Center says No Crashing!
Here at Big Sky Collision Center our goal is to be the number one auto body repair shop in the state of Montana. And that means we start by making sure that you’re safe on the roads. Before you get behind the wheel, make sure you know your limitations, and take measures to ensure you drive safely.