Authored by: Kate Fletcher Photo Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/A9l24KbLQVs
As you get older, completing everyday tasks and keeping your independence can feel more challenging. Driving is an important aspect of many seniors’ lives, but this too can become more difficult as reduced eyesight, poor mobility, and slower reaction times add to your risk on the road. In this blog, we will run through some top tips for seniors to help them to drive safely.
Choosing the right vehicle is the first essential step to ensuring your safety. There are so many makes and models available nowadays that every need can be adhered to, no matter how picky you are. Speak to your local car dealer or mechanic about certain accessibility requirements you may have, such as adjustments on the seating position and steering wheel that can make driving easier for you.
You may wish to consider opting for an automatic car as you get older, with no need to switch gears and less to think about. A smaller car could also be more suitable, especially if the car’s main use is making short journeys – from home to the shops for example – because they are easier to maneuver both on the road and when parking.
Long journeys tire us all out and as you get older, you are likely to feel fatigued quicker. Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of road accidents, resulting in as many as 300 people each year being killed on the road. Reconsider taking very long journeys without overnight breaks, and instead consider public transport options or asking for a family member to help in order to ensure your safety and that of others on the road.
Alongside this, consider any comfort breaks that you may need, and factor these in if you have to drive for an unavoidable long journey.
Having good eyesight is essential for safe driving, but unfortunately this tends to deteriorate with age. Before getting behind the wheel, you should have your eyes tested if you haven’t recently. Your optician will be able to advise if your eyesight is good enough for you to safely drive. You may be given glasses or a stronger prescription that will make driving much easier and safer and will benefit you in your everyday life, even when you’re not behind the wheel.
Seniors should aim to make driving as simple and stress-free as possible to avoid potential confusion. Having a GPS system in your car can be a great help, giving you clear verbal directions and a map so that it’s not possible to get lost. Some modern cars come with these installed into the dashboard, or you can buy them as an external device. They use simple technology that isn’t too difficult to pick up on.
These are just some of the main tips that we suggest for senior drivers, to allow you to maintain your independence for longer. Your safety is paramount, so make sure you feel comfortable and secure while driving to avoid accidents.
After majoring in English Language at university, I now write posts that are designed to help readers make their own lives easier and more enjoyable.