As we get older, we go through many changes, including changes to our driving abilities. But, there are many ways that you can insure the safety of yourself and others while you are on the road, no matter what your age is. There will be some warning signs that may mean that your driving days may be coming to an end, and you should pay attention to these signs. The last thing you want is to be a danger to yourself or others.

How Does Age Affect Your Driving?

We all age differently, and we all have different signs of aging. This means that there is no actual age when you should just decide to stop driving. But, you do need to be more careful than you did when you were younger, for a number of reasons, including:

  • Failing Vision
  • hearing problems
  • slower reflexes
  • Stroke

The older we get, the more our driving abilities are prone to change. Watch out for any changes in your health and in your driving, and take steps to correct these so you can continue to drive safely.

Warning Signs!

You may not notice any warning signs right away, but you must always be on the lookout for them so you can still drive. Some of the warning signs that your driving abilities may not be as good as they once were include:

  • 1

    Medications

    If you are taking combinations of medications, your senses may be affected. Make sure that you read all labels on medication bottles, and check to be sure that your medications don’t conflict with one another.

  • 2

    Poor vision

    It is important that you have your vision checked regularly. That way, if there are any changes they can be corrected right away so you can continue to drive. Some vision conditions are degenerative, which means they will not get better. These include glaucoma and macular degeneration. Things to watch for are not being able to see traffic lights and street signs, following too close to other vehicles and not being able to react quickly when drivers come up behind or alongside of you.

  • 3

    Poor hearing

    If you have hearing problems, you may not be able to hear things like sirens from emergency vehicles, other vehicles nearby that are accelerating, etc. Have your hearing tested regularly, and if necessary, get a hearing aid.

  • 4

    Slower reflexes

    As we age, our reflexes slow. You need to know that you still have the ability to react quickly in any driving situation.

  • 5

    Poor memory

    If you find that you are forgetting where certain streets are, or that you are missing exits you never missed before, or you get lost a lot, it may be because your memory is getting bad. Watch out for this, take notice of any patterns, and have an evaluation by a medical professional.

  • 6

    Less Range of Motion

    You need to be able to turn to see traffic, and to use your arms and legs for steering and pressing down on pedals. If you are uncomfortable doing these tasks, you need to decide if you should still be driving.

  • 7

    Poor Driving Skills

    If you are doing things in your vehicle that you never used to do, such as drifting into other lanes, accelerating, suddenly braking or making a lot of lane changes, it may be time to retest your driving skills.

  • 8

    Frequent Accidents and / or Citations

    If you find that you are getting into accidents or that you are being pulled over and given tickets a lot, this can be a sign that your driving skills are no longer up to par.

Driving tips

Here are some good tips that will help you to stay safe while you are on the roads:

1. seatbelt

Never drive without wearing a seatbelt.

2. daytime

Try to only drive during the daytime. Avoid night driving unless it is absolutely necessary, especially if you have troubles with night vision.

3. stay away

Don’t follow vehicles ahead of you too closely so you have plenty of time to put on the brakes if you need to.

4. Stay in lane

Don’t switch lanes unless you need to.

5. stay alert

Always be alert and watchful for what is going on around you.

Take heed of all traffic signs and signals, and watch the traffic around you, especially at intersections.

6. Route

Always plan out the route you are going to take ahead of time, and study this route so you know it well before you leave the house. Also, take a map with you.

Take routes that you are familiar with, and stay away from roads that have a lot of traffic.

7. Bad weather

Stay home during inclement weather.

8. Medications

Don’t take medications that will make you tired or cause problems with your driving. If you do have to take medications that inhibit your driving abilities, don’t drive while you are taking them.

9. no driving

If you feel like you shouldn’t drive, arrange for other methods of transportation, such as taking part in volunteer driver programs, getting friends or family members to drive you places, using public transit, taking a cab or even walking.

take care of yourself

The better your physical and mental health are, the longer you will be able to drive safely. It is important that you take care of your health.

  • See Your Doctor

    Schedule regular checkups with your physician.

  • Check your eyes

    Get your eyes checked at least once a year.

  • Check your hearing

    Have your hearing checked annually.

  • Sleep

    Get plenty of sleep every day.

The more things you do to ensure good health, the better your driving skills will be.

Finally…

It may be that you will need some aids to help you continue driving. Things like power steering, automatic transmissions and power brakes all make it easier to drive. Also, make sure that your vehicle is always in good running order. Have it checked regularly by a mechanic. Your windows and headlights should be clean and clear. If you have trouble reaching pedals or seeing over the steering wheel there are devices available that will help.

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