How might age affect safe driving?
Driving can be more difficult for older adults due to a decrease in physical and mental health including visual, hearing, motor and cognitive (such as problem solving) abilities. By playing it safe, older adults can prevent accidents. However, it’s important to consider refresher and an evaluation rather than risk unsafe driving.
Older adults who are in accidents recover less quickly and less fully than younger people which can lead to unnecessary dependency on others and most likely a stop to your driving. Here are some tips that older adults practise to ensure their own safety and that of their passengers.
Your fitness to drive
- Have your eyes and hearing tested regularly and wear those recommended glasses and hearing aids!
- If you are on medications, check to make sure it is safe to drive while taking them. Do not drive if you are tired and avoid long hours of continuous driving.
- Do not drive if you are emotionally upset.
- Keep your wits about you! As you drive, try the game “what if” to stay alert and mentally prepared for driving emergencies.
- Do exercises and stretches to improve your neck and body flexion so you can easily look around you when backing up, turning, etc.
- Drive only. Do not use a cell phone, eat, smoke, etc.