As seniors get older, safe driving tips become necessary to revisit. If you are a senior and are having vision trouble, are hearing impaired or have any other issues, driving and following road safety rules will become more of a problem as you get older. To combat this, review important road safety tips for how to manage your driving and remain safe on the road as you age. For more information on these safe driving techniques, refer to the sections below.
Tips on How to Become a Safer Driver as a Senior Citizen
If you are the family member of a senior and you fear for his or her security, safety driving tips can be a great way to help keep them safe. If their driving keeps getting worse despite the use of these safe driving tips, you may want to consider limiting their time on the road or helping them give up driving, altogether.
As a senior driver, here are some safe driving techniques and tips that will help you maintain your driving skills:
- Routine eye exams: The older you get, the more important how to become a safer driver is, which includes routine eye exams. These are a great way to measure how well your eyes see things that are close and far away. If you do not have glasses, these tests may help you realize that you need them. Getting your eyes checked could be one of the road safety rules that is the difference between staying on the road a few more years and being forced to surrender your drivers license.
- Lessen nighttime driving hours: Many seniors find that they are more sensitive to bright light than they used to be. This is due to the fact that as your eyes age, they can no longer handle bright lights or glares as well as they did before. Because of this, how to drive a car safely may include trying to keep driving at nighttime to a minimum, as headlights and other bright lights are more prevalent at night. You should not look directly into any headlights from oncoming cars.
- Avoid high-stress driving times: Many seniors find that handling stressful situations becomes more difficult with age. If that is the case for you, a safe driving technique would be to avoid driving in high-pressure situations. This includes rush hour and other peak driving times. If the weather is bad, consider letting a younger family member drive. The optimal time for seniors to drive is between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., so try to schedule any appointments or trips that you need to make between those times.
- Plan your trips: Planning ahead is a great road safety rule to follow, and can save you a lot of time and stress. If you know your route, then you won’t have to worry about getting lost or rushing and potentially causing an accident because you don’t know where you are going.
- Check the weather: Looking at the weather forecast before driving can also be a great safe driving technique and way to plan ahead. If there is potential for snow, heavy rain, sleet or any other kind of bad weather, follow this safe driving tip, and consider staying at home or letting someone else drive – if necessary.
- Review your medication: Many seniors have to increase the number of medications they take as they age, which can decrease their ability to know how to drive a car safely, among other things. If this is the case for you, a great road safety tip would be to check the labels of your medications before ever getting behind the wheel. Even some medications that are available without a prescription can cause drowsiness and other side effects that may be hazardous for driving. It is important to also make sure that you are not mixing medications that could have potentially dangerous side effects.
- Avoid speeding: One of the best road safety tips is to avoid speeding at all times. By keeping your speed down, you will give yourself a better chance to react to situations that might occur.
- Keep your eyes on the road: Taking your eyes off of the road greatly increases your chances of being involved in an accident, so pay attention to this road safety rule, and try not to look down or take your eyes off of the road.
- Maintain space: You never know what the vehicles around you may do, so a great safe driving technique is to maintain space between your car and the car in front of you.
Following these senior safe driving tips could help you remain safe and keep you driving for years to come.
How to Enforce Road Safety Rules for Senior Relatives
If you are the family member of a senior and notice he or she is still having trouble driving after viewing these safe driving tips, you may want to consider limiting his or her driving. You will know that it is time to take action if your family member is showing some of the following signs:
- Even after practicing safe driving techniques, he or she still experiences constant discomfort or anxious feelings surrounding driving
- New dents and scrapes appear on the car regularly that cannot be explained; knocking over mailboxes or driving into fences, garage doors and other objects are telltale signs
- Near-crashes are consistent
- Getting lost is a habit
- A slowed reaction time to surprise circumstances
- Failure to pay attention to signals or road signs; cannot follow driving safety rules anymore
- The senior has a hard time gauging spaces in traffic
- The mature driver has a medical condition that prevents him or her from following road safety tips, and could cause issues with driving
- The senior is taking medication with side effects that could impair driving ability
- Several traffic tickets have been issued in the past two years.
If you are a senior and you want to learn how to become a safer driver, you may also wish to enroll in a driving safety course or a Mature Driver Improvement course to combat these issues. There are various courses available throughout the U.S. Completing these courses could also make you to be eligible for a discount on your car insurance.