The act of staying safe while driving requires making adjustments for physical changes that naturally happen as we age. Changes in vision, hearing, attention and reaction time, strength, flexibility, or coordination, are important factors to consider for improving senior driving. Here are a few safe driving tips for seniors that may help increase their chance for safety on the road:
Check your vision. It is important to have an eye exam every 1-2 years. Eye glasses prescriptions should be updated to reflect any changes, and surgery can be preformed to correct more serious vision problems like cataracts. Sunglasses that are anti-reflective or polarized can help reduce glare. If visibility in the dark becomes a problem, limit driving to daytime hours only.
Check your hearing. Hearing should be checked every three years. If hearing impairment exists, it may be necessary to wear a hearing aid while you drive. Keep the radio and conversations inside the car low. Extra caution should be used in all intersections to look for emergency vehicles with flashing lights, especially if the driver has difficulty hearing the sirens.
Account for changes in reaction time. Always eave enough space between you and the car in front of you. Brake early when you are approaching a stop. High traffic areas and high traffic times, such as rush-hour, should be avoided when driver reaction time is low. Traffic increases the frequency of abrupt stops, which can lead to rear end collisions.
Address physical changes. Flexibility decreases as we age and it is natural for muscle stiffness to happen. This can limit a driver’s ability to turn their head and see the road all around them. If physical changes make the road more difficult to see, larger mirrors, power brakes and power steering can help. It is important to always check your mirrors before you begin driving to eliminate any blind spots.
Check your medications. It is important to read the warning labels for all medications you are taking. If the warnings label says, “Do not use while operating heavy machinery,” do not drive while taking this medicine. Your physician can help you control the dose or the timing of your medicine so that you can take your medications and not lose your ability to drive. Never drink alcohol while taking medication.
Continually work on improving your driving. It can be tough for senior drivers to admit that physical changes now require they seek additional help before getting behind the wheel. But those who recognize the changes and are willing to do what they need to stay safe will make the roadways safer for everyone. Driving refresher courses, defensive driving classes, and planning ahead to accommodate for necessary safety adjustments can help insure you are accident free.
Driving a car is one of the more dangerous activities we do on a daily basis. Just because you make a commitment to safe driving every day, doesn’t mean other drivers on the road do as well. If you or someone you love has been the victim of a car accident caused by a careless or reckless driver, a Milwaukee car accident lawyer can help. Urban & Taylor, S.C. is experienced in handling car accident claims in the state of Wisconsin, and will work to earn you the compensation you need to recover. Contact our legal team today for a free, no-obligation consultation of your case.