Staying Safe on the Road: A Guide for the Elderly
Elderly drivers are often viewed as a danger to themselves and others on the roadways. It is common knowledge that as we age, our bodies begin to change. This could mean loss of vision or hearing, inability to react as quickly as we once were able to, and even loss of feeling in our legs, arms, hands, and feet. All of these health issues can make driving difficult for anyone, especially the elderly. Of course, the vehicle being operated by the elderly person also has a lot to do with their ability to drive. If their vehicle hasn't been maintained properly or requires service, driving may prove to be a problem regardless of physical capability.
As a general rule, senior citizens should always check the integrity of their vehicle before driving. Look to see that the lights and horn are working. Check the brakes to ensure that they are in working condition, and look at other important factors like tire pressure. By checking your car before you hit the road, you can avoid potential problems caused by a faulty car part. Try to avoid driving if you are feeling under the weather or have a stiff neck or joints, as these issues may distract you from driving safely or hamper your abilities. Always remember, too, that it is OK to ask for assistance in your old age. Sometimes, asking a friend or family member for a ride can be the difference between life and death.
Prior to operating a vehicle, you should talk with your doctor. They can check to make sure that you are in good health and that you are capable of driving. Have them look at your eyesight and hearing, including testing for things like glaucoma. Talking with your doctor will allow you to feel more comfortable and confident when driving. Once your doctor has given you a clean bill of health and you are ready to hit the road, make sure you are well-rested. Staying focused on the road is paramount in staying safe. With these driving safety tips, you are sure to have the confidence to drive yourself from one place to another, whether you are driving on the highway or around the corner in your neighborhood!
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