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Safety Tips for Older Drivers

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For entirely different reasons, both teen drivers and senior motorists are involved in more accidents than the drivers in between these age groups. Today's message offers safety tips for veteran motorists (we address teens in another post), many of whom have mental and physical challenges that can influence driving ability.

1. Test Your Vision Regularly

Our vision can deteriorate as we age due to conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. First off, always wear your prescription eyeglasses or contacts when you are on the road. If you experience a decrease in vision, see your optometrist or ophthalmologist. Many veteran drivers can see well in daylight hours but struggle after sundown. If this is the case for you, it may be time to restrict all driving to daytime.

2. Test Your Hearing Regularly

Limited ability to hear increases the risk of an auto accident. If your doctor says you need a hearing aid, get one.

3. Stay Healthy and Manage Meds

Many mature motorists have at least one chronic health condition (heck, many middle-aged men and women do also). Dementia, arthritis, Parkinson's Disease, diabetes, seizures, and sleep disorders affect driving expertise. To compound the issue, the medications used to manage these conditions can further impair driving ability. Make sure you know the biological effects of the medications you take and work with your doctor and/or pharmacist to determine if it's safe to drive while under the influence. You may be able to take a reduced dose or change the time you take the medication to allow for some unimpaired driving hours.

General health and wellness is important, as well. By eating right and staying physically active, you can save flexibility, strength, and stamina.

4. Acknowledge Limitations and Adapt Driving Behavior

You may have restricted motor functions that makes it difficult to see when backing up or handling the car in bad weather. You may have longer reaction times that could be dicey if someone cuts you off suddenly. You may have periodic dizzy spells. If you plan carefully, you may be able to continue driving safely. You may want to steer clear of rush hour, drive only in good weather, take an alternate route to avoid complicated intersections, and lengthen your following distance.

5. Take a Driving Course for Older Drivers

We could all benefit from taking a course to upgrade our driving prowess. There are many programs created precisely for senior motorists. You can check AAA and AARP for information about the courses they offer in your area. If there is not a classroom course in your area, you could take one of the online courses and maybe even get a discount on your auto insurance.

6. Keep Your Car In Proper Working Order

When considering all the threats to driver safety, there are enough things to worry about outside of the automobile—the last thing any driver needs is a problem inside the vehicle. Older drivers can rely on I-86 Truck & Auto Repair to keep their car running safely and efficiently. For automotive peace of mind, call the automotive experts in Falconer at 716-665-2501 to speak to a service advisor.