Like they say…age is relative. Car insurance companies are fully aware of this dilemma and monitor it carefully. Now, no one really wants to get old or give up something they enjoy doing, especially driving, just because of our age. And, along with it comes the probability of parking or selling our beloved wheels and the keys being taken away from us.
By reducing risk factors and incorporating safe driving practices, you may be able to continue driving safely long into your senior years. Seeking alternative methods of transportation can offer health and social benefits, as well as a welcome change of pace to life.
How does age affect your driving? Everyone ages differently, so there is no arbitrary cutoff as to when someone should stop driving.
However, older adults are more likely to receive traffic citations and get into accidents than younger drivers. What causes this increase? As we age, factors such as decreased vision, impaired hearing, slowed motor reflexes, and worsening health conditions can become a problem.
Aging also tends to result in a reduction of strength, coordination, and flexibility, which can impact your ability to safely control a car.
Neck pain or stiffness can make it harder to look over your shoulder. Leg pain can make it difficult to move your foot from the gas to the brake pedal. Diminished arm strength can make it hard to turn the steering wheel quickly and effectively.
Your reaction times can slow down with age. You can lose the ability to effectively divide your attention between multiple activities. You may have driven your entire life and take great pride in your safety record, but as you age, it is critical that you realize your driving ability can change.
You may feel shocked or overwhelmed at the prospect of losing some of your independence, but by keeping your mind open to new possibilities, you can still maintain an active, vibrant, and rewarding lifestyle without a car.
You may even be able to prolong other aspects of your independence. Safety tips for older drivers Aging does not automatically equal total loss of driving ability.
There are many things you can do to continue driving safely, including modifying your car, altering the way you drive, and addressing any physical issues that can interfere with driving. Stay on top of your health Regular check-ups are critical to keep you in the best possible driving shape.
Get your eyes checked every year. Make sure that corrective lenses are current. Keep the windshield, mirrors, and headlights clean, and turn the brightness up on the instrument panel on your dashboard.
Have your hearing checked annually. If you need hearing aids, make sure you wear them while driving. For example, if you have glaucoma, tinted eyeglasses can help to reduce glare.
Get plenty of sleep. Getting enough sleep is essential to driving well. Find the right car and any aids you need for safe driving If required, an occupational therapist or a certified driving rehabilitation specialist can prescribe equipment to make it easier to steer your car or to operate the foot pedals.
Choose a vehicle with automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes.The increasing Are Elderly Drivers a Road Hazard? number of the elderly in the population and the corresponding growth in the proportion of drivers who are over 65 years is depicted in Figure 1. Elderly drivers' ability to detect hazards doesn't degrade with age, study suggests Date: May 27, Source: American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Elderly Driver Safety Find information for mature and elderly drivers, including tips on driving safely, when to think about turning in the keys, and taking a mature driver safety course.
In This Section. Age and Driving Safety Tips and Warning Signs for Older Drivers. For many of us, driving is a key aspect of maintaining our independence as we age. A sample of older drivers (65 years and older) completed a video-based hazard perception test and an assessment battery designed to measure aspects of cognitive ability, vision, and simple reaction time that might plausibly be linked to hazard perception ability.
Understanding the Potential Hazards for Elderly Drivers. Elderly drivers are the fastest growing segment of the driving population. Your aging parents continue to proclaim their competence, but you need to learn what hazards to watch for.