As people age, their ability to navigate the roads can change, making road safety an important topic for older adults. Being proactive and understanding potential risks can help elderly adults maintain a safe driving experience.
Learning some essential tips about road safety can help older adults who may feel they need more advice or knowledge.
Get regular check-ups
Prior to hitting the road, it is important for older adults to have regular health check-ups. With about 48 million drivers in the United States who are 65 or older in the year 2020, staying up to date on health care is key.
Vision and hearing changes impact driving abilities, so older adults may find it helpful to get medical tests for those senses. Regular check-ups can help identify issues early on and allow for intervention.
Relearn basic traffic rules
Traffic rules and regulations may change over time. It is important for older adults to stay informed about updates in traffic laws. This knowledge helps them know that they are driving within legal limits and following the right rules on the road.
Distracted driving is a major risk factor for accidents. Older adults, and drivers of any age, should avoid using mobile phones, eating or engaging in any other distracting activities while driving. Focusing only on the road reduces the likelihood of accidents.
Notice the weather conditions
Different weather conditions can impact road safety. Older adults should adjust their driving style to suit the weather. Slower speeds, increased following distances and cautious movements help to prevent accidents in bad weather conditions.
Know more about their medications
Certain medications cause drowsiness or dizziness, which can lead to accidents while driving. Older adults should read medication labels carefully and talk to health care professionals if any side effects might affect their driving abilities.
Plan trips in advance
When possible, planning routes in advance helps older adults avoid unfamiliar or busy roads. This minimizes stress and the likelihood of making sudden, unsafe turns.
By following these road safety tips, older adults can continue to enjoy the freedom of driving while reducing risks. Making safety a priority not only protects the elderly but also helps the safety of fellow drivers.