No matter what age you are, it’s vital that you follow standard safe driving practices like keeping your distance from the vehicle in front, not speeding, and not driving while distracted.
After all, more than six million car accidents happen every year on average in the U.S., according to the NHTSA, so it’s vital that you always follow the rules of the road and engage in safe driving.
But as you get older, it’s important that you also do other things to ensure you stay safe when driving.
Here are five tips you should follow.
1. Get Your Vision and Hearing Checked Regularly
Seniors can experience a variety of vision problems that are related to aging, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
Such conditions can make it difficult to see normally or to drive when it’s dark, and of course, being able to see clearly is essential for safe driving.
Likewise, as a driver, you must be able to hear in order to stay safe on the road. But hearing can deteriorate the older we get.
Therefore, it’s very important that you have regular vision and hearing tests.
By ensuring your eyesight and hearing is in good condition, you can reduce the chances of being involved in an accident.
2. Always Read the Labels of Medications and Follow the Guidance
Seniors often take medications to manage health problems. But if you take medication that causes drowsiness or dizziness, make sure you don’t drive.
Also, lots of everyday medications, such as cold remedies and pain medications can affect your ability to drive safely, even if you think you feel fine.
So, it’s imperative that you always read the label of any medication you take and follow your doctor’s guidance before getting behind the wheel of your car.
3. Adapt According to Your Limitations
As you get older, you’ll probably experience aches, pains, and physical limitations. So, you should always consider your limitations and how you feel on any given day before you drive.
You should also make changes so that you can adapt to your limitations.
For instance, if your hands are painful when gripping the steering wheel, it could help to get a steering wheel cover.
Furthermore, you could change your vehicle to better suit your new needs. Cars that have large, easy-to-read dials on their dashboards, for example, are a popular choice for older drivers.
You could change when and where you drive, too, depending on your limitations. For instance, you could be safer driving during the daytime, during good weather, or on quiet roads.
Also, bear in mind how tired you are. If you feel sleepy, you shouldn’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
4. Update Your Driving Skills
If you are ever injured in a road accident that isn’t your fault, you can at least gain compensation to cover things like medical bills with the help of nationwide car accident lawyers.
But by following the above tips, you can hopefully avoid being in an accident in the first place.
One other tip that could be beneficial is this: update your driving skills by taking a driving course specifically geared towards older drivers.
By doing so, you could even potentially get a discount on your auto insurance rate.
5. If the Time Comes, Be Prepared to Stop Driving
Lastly, it’s worth noting that, sometimes, physical and/or mental health conditions can worsen to the extent that people become unfit to drive.
While no one wants to lose their driving independence, remember that, if you need to give up your car keys, it’s for your safety and the safety of others.
Then, embrace and enjoy using public transport, a ride-sharing service, or cabs instead.