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Steer Your Senior Toward Safety With These Tips During Older Driver Safety Awareness Week

Steer Your Senior Toward Safety With These Tips During Older Driver Safety Awareness Week

The first week in December is Older Driver Safety Awareness Week. Intended to bring awareness to seniors and their loved ones, this is a great opportunity to have a discussion about driving safety, as older adults often face special challenges. We’ll discuss a few of those here along with tips to stay safe on the road during the senior years.

How Age Can Affect Driving Abilities

The physical and cognitive changes that come about with age can make driving a bit more challenging and risky. Stiffening or weakening of the muscles and joints due to arthritis and other conditions can make turning the head to see other drivers and controlling the steering wheel harder. Other factors that can impair one’s driving abilities include:

  • Decreased Vision
  • Impaired Hearing
  • Chronic Health Conditions
  • Slower Motor Reflexes
  • Forms of Dementia
  • Prior Strokes
  • Previous or Healing Injuries

How Seniors Can Stay Safe on the Road

Staying on top of health is essential for seniors, but it’s a must for those who still choose to drive. This begins with talking to a doctor about any physical conditions or medications that can affect driving abilities. Routine checkups are highly recommended, as is getting adequate exercise to improve flexibility, ease stiffness and maintain the strength it takes to operate a vehicle.

Seniors should have their eyes and hearing checked every year. If corrective lenses are necessary, it’s good to know if they are current. Should glare or glaucoma be a problem, an eye doctor can recommend tinted lenses or laser surgery. Those who need hearing aids should wear them while driving for safety reasons.

Ease Driving With the Right Vehicle and Car Aids

Make getting to and from their car in the garage safer by adding handrails near stairways. Most garages skip installing these types of handrails near the entrance to and from the house. In addition, be sure to take advantage of the tools a car can offer and make it possible for seniors to remain on the road longer.. Some recommendations include:

  • Have hand-operational aids installed.
  • Park assist and lane assist technology.
  • Back up camera.
  • Blind spot detection.
  • Automatic Braking.
  • Built-in 911 Calling/Emergency Services
  • Keep the headlights and windows clean.
  • Increase the brightness on the dashboard panel.
  • Regularly schedule maintenance to keep the car in good working condition.

Help Seniors Make a Smart Choice Driving Forward

Older Driver Safety Awareness Week is an excellent time to empower, educate and help aging drivers and their loved ones make solid choices before hitting the road. After all, mobility -- whether it be through public transportation or a personal vehicle -- helps seniors stay engaged in the community.



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