It is likely that driving is a key aspect of maintaining your independence as you age. It’s normal that your driving abilities change as you get older. By reducing risk factors and incorporating safe driving practices, you may find you are able to stay behind the wheel for many years to come. LifeFone offers three safety tips for older drivers.
Age doesn’t not automatically disqualify someone from driving. There are many things you can do to continue driving safely. The way you drive, addressing any physical issues, even including modifying your car are all ways, when handled properly that can keep you mobile for a long time.
Stay on top of your health
Regular check ups are critical to keep you in the best possible driving shape.
- Get your eyes checked every year. Make sure your prescription is up-to-date. With that, keep your headlamps, windshield and mirrors clean. Turn up the brightness on your instrument panel if necessary.
- Have your hearing checked annually. If you wear hearing aids, be sure to wear them when you drive.
- Talk to your physician about any medications that could slow down your reaction time or affect your driving in any other way.
- Get plenty of sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to driving well.
Find the right car for you
Just like no two drivers are alike, the car you choose has to be right for you.
- Choose a vehicle with automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes.
- Keep your car properly maintained.
- Ensure clear visibility on all sides, and check for blind spots.
- Be sure that you fit comfortably into your vehicle and can see over the dash as well as being aware of all blind spots.
With today’s advances in technology, drivers are becoming more and more distracted. This means that you want to take extra steps to drive safely.
- Leave adequate space for the car in front of you.
- Pay extra attention at intersections.
- Make sure you are driving appropriately with the flow of traffic.
- Avoid distractions while driving. No texting, consulting a map or GPS, and talking on the phone.
- Allowing sufficient braking distance. Remember, if you double your speed—say from 30mph to 60mph—your braking distance does not become twice as long, it becomes four times as far, even more if the road is wet or icy.
- Adjust the time of day that you are out. If you are experiencing trouble driving at night, then limit how often you go out after dark.
Some insurance companies offer discounts to their older drivers if they’ve taken and completed driver safety courses designed specifically for drivers 55 and older. Check with your company, they may offer discounts for certain programs. There are different ones to choose from, so be sure to ask!
Your safety at home and on the road is important to us. While we don’t want you to be in an accident, with the At Home and On the Go pendant from LifeFone, you are one push of a button away from help being sent to your location.