As you age, many things can change. Driving is one of them. You may need to make small but impactful adjustments to ensure you are staying safe on the roadways and navigating as efficiently and effectively as possible. You can still maintain your independence simply by making slight changes to your driving habits and updating your routine. Understanding the risks and benefits of continuing to drive will help you better assess whether it is right for you.
How to Stay Safe on the Road
Here are a few safe driving tips seniors should keep in mind before getting behind the wheel:
- Avoid driving at night. Driving at night can become more of a hazard as you age. For those who have vision issues or trouble seeing in the dark, this can be a particularly difficult time of day to drive. Try to avoid driving after dusk whenever possible. Additionally, avoid having darkly tinted windows as these can obstruct your view of the roadway.
- Skip driving during high-traffic times. Driving during rush hour or lunch hour can be a stressful experience for anyone. As you age, busy roadways can cause even more stress, and you might experience high levels of anxiety due to the fast cars, tight spaces and condensed traffic. If you get stressed out by heavy traffic, avoid the times during the day where the traffic is at its worst.
- Keep close to home. Limit the amount of long-distance driving that you do. If you can, stay close to home and avoid unfamiliar areas. Driving for long periods of time can increase your risks of experiencing anxiety or getting fatigued, so choose routes that you know and stay in areas that are familiar to you.
- Pay attention to how many traffic violations you’ve gotten lately. If you have recently received more than one traffic violation, you should consider limiting your driving. This could be an indicator that you are having more trouble focusing on the road and being aware of your surroundings.
- Don’t drive in poor weather conditions. Snow, rain, or heavy fog can be difficult to navigate in at times. If the weather conditions look poor, avoid heading out, and either take a taxi or wait until conditions have cleared. Never drive if you are feeling very apprehensive about the conditions. It’s better to wait or find another way of transportation than to risk your safety.
- Understand your conditions and medications. Understanding your personal limitations and things that might affect your ability to drive is an important aspect to consider when you are an aging adult getting behind the wheel. Plus, certain medications may have side effects that lead to drowsiness, causing a dangerous situation for you and others on the road. Consult with your doctor or physician to understand the effects any chronic conditions or medications might have on your driving ability.
- Limit distractions. If you are driving, make sure you limit the amount of distractions you have in the car. You will be able to pay better attention to the roadways if you stash your phone away, turn the radio down, or limit conversations between passengers and drivers.
- Drive at your best. If you’re feeling under the weather at all, are tired or stressed, it might not be the best time for you to drive. Make sure you are in good health and are not under the influence of any medications that could impair your reaction time.
Enjoy Life on Your Terms at Immanuel Lutheran Communities
At Immanuel Lutheran Communities, we offer a range of amenities and services that will keep you feeling your best! Your safety and health are of great important to us, and we promote senior wellness with a variety of healthy activities for our residents. You can improve overall strength and balance with dance, yoga or fitness classes designed specifically for seniors. Enjoy independent living and peace of mind for your future through our supportive health services. Contact us today and learn more about our community and staff.