Safe Driving Tips

Safe Driving Tips

In 2009, an estimated 33 million drivers aged 65 years and older had licenses to drive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 500 older adults are injured in a car crash every day. Another 15 older adults are killed every day from these car crashes.

As you age, the risk of being killed or injured in a car accident exponentially increases.

In fact, older adults aged 75 to 80 are at the highest risk of a fatal crash. Studies have shown that these fatal crashes are largely due to medical complications that arise when a crash has occurred.

Although there are a range of reasons why car accidents occur with older adults, the primary reasons are the gradual decrease of vision, cognitive function, and side effects from medications. In honor of Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, here are some safe driving tips that everyone can benefit from, especially seniors.

  1. The #1 thing that you can do to keep you safe while driving is the most obvious one: wear a seatbelt. Not only will wearing a seatbelt ensure that you remain in place if the car spins out of control, but it also reduces the impact of a collision. If your car gets slammed into by another car while you are wearing a seatbelt you have a greater chance of being able to react properly and steer your vehicle out of further harm.

  2. The next thing you can do to keep you safe while driving is to ensure your vision is at its best. Yearly eye check-ups with your eye doctor will help ensure that you are seeing at your best. A simple test you can perform is if you notice (or fail to notice) what a street sign or highway sign says. If you can’t recognize your neighbor’s face from across the street, you may need to go ahead and get that vision check-up sooner rather than later.

  3. If you notice the bright glare of on-coming headlights at night and it makes your eyes feel uncomfortable you may want to check-in with your eye doctor as these could be early signs of glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy.

  4. Never use an old pair of eyeglasses when driving. Use your most recent prescription at all times.

  5. Being physically fit makes a huge difference in the outcome of a potential crash. It can help boost your reaction time and your ability to move your car out of a dangerous situation. Simple stretching exercises can help keep your body from atrophying and increase your reaction time while driving.

  6. One complaint that people seem to have about older drivers is that they are oblivious to any of the other cars on the road. Always make sure to use your blinker to signal your intent to make a turn.

  7. Check your rear view mirrors and keep at least 10” away from your steering wheel to avoid potential injuries from the air bag.

  8. Take note of when you are the most alert and use this time to plan your trips outside. If a certain medication makes you feel sleepy, avoid driving right away if at all possible.

Good drivers are safe drivers. When you plan your route ahead of time, you feel less stressed and are able to engage in your surroundings much more quickly. Only drive when you are at your best, otherwise it can wait.

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  1. A-1 Freight System January 10, 2017 Reply

    Seniors these days are allowed to drive a car. But we have to make sure that they have the capacity and ability to do it also. Good thing there are safety tips and advice here in your post that we can share to them so they can be more aware of it also.

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