One moment we’re 16, cruising along with the wind in our hair, when what seems like out of nowhere, the gray hair and senior discounts arrive! While most of us practiced and studied carefully to get our licenses, perhaps over time, our driving habits changed. To stay in the driver’s seat as long as we can, it’s important to balance the scale between safety and freedom.
Here are 3 tips for staying safe behind the wheel:
1. Hit the books
Taking a defensive driving or refresher course doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten how to drive, but it can help us to learn how to respond to the different scenarios on the road. The courses could help you learn how to safely share the highway with grumpy or distracted drivers, or how to navigate the increasing roundabouts on our roadways.
Whether it’s in a classroom, online, or in a hands-on setting, any bit of refresher information can be helpful for drivers, regardless of their age. An added perk to taking a safe driving course may be a discount on auto insurance costs, depending on your age and carrier.
2. Keep movin’
Getting regular exercise is important for more than maintaining our independence and overall well-being. According to the Mayo Clinic, physical activity can promote safer driving because it enhances drivers’ abilities to manage the steering wheel, look over their shoulders, and make other quick movements when driving.
According to the National Institute on Aging, the risk of car crashes rises with age, and adults aged 75 and up are especially susceptible to automobile accidents. Accidents involving older drivers usually occur near intersections and while merging. Both situations require full neck mobility to check for pedestrians and other vehicles. Staying physically active can help seniors keep their ability to turn freely in the driver’s seat.
3. Get regular health checkups
Regular checkups can be helpful to make sure your engine is running tip-top, just like your vehicle! Whether you’re experiencing diminished strength or limitations to your movements, your doctor can help you find individual solutions.
Sometimes physicians will order outpatient therapies or recommend exercises to help you improve your range of motion. They can also review your prescribed medications and their side effects, to find out if they could impair your ability to drive safely.
As you’re getting your health checkups completed, don’t forget about your hearing and vision. These may be appointments outside of your usual hospital/clinic, so they may be easier to forget.
Getting your vision checked regularly helps promote safer driving. Optimum vision plays a big role for vehicle operators; it’s not only needed to see traffic and pedestrians, but also street signs and roadway warnings.
Because our ears often perceive things on the roadway before our eyes, hearing is extremely important. Hearing loss can decrease a driver’s ability to notice the roar of a motorcycle, the blaring sirens of a quickly approaching ambulance, or the honking horn of an oncoming motorist.
We hope you have found these tips to be useful, and please feel free to share them with others. If you know someone who could use senior living solutions, please reach out to us at email@example.com. We offer many amenities right on-site in our communities, including medical transportation or scheduling transit for those who no longer drive.