It is very important for senior citizens to understand how to best take care of themselves so they can live independently for a long time. One way to stay independent is to be able to continue to drive a car. As people age, reflexes tend to slow down and health issues can pile up. These are obstacles to being able to drive a car and not depend on public transportation.
There are a number of ways that seniors can still drive their cars by taking on a few changes. Understanding that changes need to be made and accounted for will give the right mentality to continue driving for years. In this article, we will go over how seniors can stay safe while on the road.
1 – Modify the vehicle
There should first be some changes made to the vehicle that will make it easier and safer to operate. If you have a truck then getting in and out can be a challenge, for instance. Look into the best running boards and choose ones that fit your truck so you can get in and out without straining yourself.
The mirrors should also be changed for ones that will offer better and clearer views. As vision gets worse as we age, seeing what is happening around the car is essential. These mirrors will reduce the blind spot and allow you a fuller vision of the outside of the car.
You should also be able to retrofit an older car with some safety features such as a rearview camera to aid in reversing the car. Since most accidents occur in parking lots this should help reduce the chances of smashing another car or even a pedestrian.
2 – Make sure you’re healthy
When people start getting older, small health problems can get bigger over time. In some cases, you may not even be aware of any issues at all until one day you are sidelined. These problems can end up taking you off of the road since you aren’t healthy enough to safely drive a car.
Make sure to get checked out by a doctor regularly so you know if you do have any issues that you may not realize that you have. Things like vision and hearing can degrade slowly so that you don’t even notice. By getting checked then you can get hearing aids or a different glasses prescription.
3 – Drive defensively
Taking some precautions while driving is a good way to be safe. Defensive driving habits will help you avoid accidents even if you wouldn’t have been at fault. This means that you should avoid doing things like driving distracted. Don’t eat, text, or do anything else behind the wheel besides drive.
Always give a lot of space to the car in front of you. Since reaction times slow when you age, having an extra second to brake is important if there is a sudden stop ahead of you.