As people age, they face many challenges when driving due to a decrease in their physical and mental health. Their vision, hearing, and response time become weakened, increasing the risk of getting into an accident and sustaining injuries.
That’s why it is paramount that seniors take a few precautionary measures when driving, so they can stay safe on the road and also protect all passengers and vehicles around.
From avoiding driving during poor conditions to getting car insurance, there are several steps the elderly can take to maintain safety while behind the wheel.
In this post, we share five tips for older people to follow so they can continue driving safely in their golden years.
Get senior car insurance
Every driver needs to have car insurance, especially the elderly. This is because they stand a greater risk of getting into an accident and being severely injured due to their decrease in hearing, sight, and cognition.
This is where car insurance can come in handy to cover the costs of damages and injuries an older individual would sustain in an unfortunate event while driving.
However, in order to reap all the benefits auto insurance offers seniors, it is important that you purchase the right policy. Look for local brokerages that can help you find the best policy for you.
For instance, if you live in Ontario, CA, make sure you do thorough research on the different types of car insurance for seniors in Ontario to choose a policy that best suits your budget and lifestyle.
Avoid driving during poor weather conditions and at night
Because people’s eyesight decreases as they age, it can significantly affect their driving ability.
The lenses in the eyes begin to lose flexibility after the age of 40, and after 60, it becomes more difficult to see contrasts, like light and dark. It is because of these reasons that seniors should avoid driving when it is darker outside.
Also, the elderly should avoid driving in poor conditions. Not only do bad weather conditions such as rain, snow, and fog can limit a person’s already limited eyesight, but older people’s motor skills and decreased response time make it more difficult for them to maneuver safely.
Take alternative routes with less traffic
Another safety driving tip seniors should follow is to take alternative routes with less traffic. There are some city routes that are more dangerous than others, posing a greater risk for the elderly to get around safely. And if your eyesight is limited and your reaction time reduced, it is best that you avoid these busy streets and choose alternative routes instead.
For instance, if you have to run personal errands across town, it is recommended that you avoid rush hour when there are more cars on the streets whose drivers could be driving recklessly.
Also, remember to avoid driving on curving roads and hilly routes as they are more difficult to maneuver with limited eyesight.
Eliminate any distractions while driving
While this is something all drivers should avoid when driving, it is especially true for seniors. Older people who have limited eyesight, reduced focus, and reaction time find it more difficult to drive with any kind of distractions around. Some common distractions you should avoid while behind the wheel include:
- Eating or drinking;
- Adjusting the radio;
- Talking on the phone;
- Adjusting the thermostat;
- Inputting information into a GPS.
Instead of doing all of these things while driving, you have the option of adjusting anything you need before you drive away or pulling over on the side of the road. Not only are you maintaining your safety, but you are also protecting other passengers and vehicles on the street.
Be aware of your medications
It is normal for people to take medications as they get older. However, one thing the elderly often overlook is that some medications can have adverse side effects that can limit a person’s driving ability.
That’s why it is important that you consult with your doctor first to see if the medicine you are taking can affect your driving. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to drive at all, but it is best to take precautionary measures and avoid getting behind the wheel when you are feeling unwell after taking medicine.
Just because you have entered your golden years doesn’t mean you cannot drive. With proper safety and precautionary measures in place, you can easily get behind the wheel and complete your daily tasks as a senior.
From taking safer routes to obtaining car insurance, make sure you refer to our post and follow our tips on how to practice safety when driving in your golden years.