As we age, we begin to worry that our driving skills will not be as sharp as they once were. We may even be pressured by family members to stop driving altogether. As we become older drivers, there are things we can do to ensure that we are keeping ourselves and other safe on the road.
By remaining physically active, you retain your strength and flexibility. It is easier for you to control the steering wheel, move your head to look over your shoulder, and make other movements necessary for driving. Try to include physical activity in your routine each day.
Hearing and Vision Screenings
Stay up to date with your vision and hearing screenings. These senses decline with age, and the sooner your doctor detects changes, the sooner you can be treated. Ask your doctor for the proper interval for your checkups and stick to them.
If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, make sure that it is properly managed. Follow your doctor’s instructions as they pertain to keeping your condition under control. Ask your doctor to explain the effect that any of your medications may have on your ability to drive safely.
Be Aware of Your Limitations
Know your limitations. When you can no longer move as you once could, do not be ashamed. Aging happens to everyone. As our bodies start to decline, we may need assistance. Your doctor may be able to refer you to an occupational or physical therapist. That professional may be able to recommend assistive devices that will help you drive safely.
Drive During the Day
Night vision declines as we get older. Try to drive after dusk as little as possible. Drive when the weather is pleasant and the sun is out. When the weather is poor, consider using public transportation or asking a friend or family member for a ride.
There is nothing that says you have to automatically give up your right to drive simply because you get older. When you follow the tips above, you will stay on the road for as long as possible and as safely as is necessary.
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