Don't Let Your Age Keep You From Driving: Senior Driving Tips
The old cliche states that senior citizens are poor drivers who drive slow in the fast lane, use their blinkers for too long, or simply cut people off. If you're a senior, you can avoid becoming that crusty old "bad driver" cliche by following these tips. They'll help you remain a sharp and safe driver late in life.
Understand The Younger Generation
Serious generation gap concerns are frustrating because younger drivers can treat you like a relic long past your due date. As a result, you may feel upset when driving or like acting out.
You can't do that: your major advantage over younger drivers is your maturity and restraint. But you do need to understand their frustrations. Reasons that younger drivers are so rude or consider you a bad driver include:
- Misunderstanding of your abilities
- Immersion in pop culture generalities
In America, youth culture rules and people of older generations are often considered out-of-date or useless. There isn't much you can really do to change that perception, short of sitting down individually with each younger person and discussing your life.
Instead, you need to counter their impatience and immaturity by showing a high level of restraint and maturity. Drive at a speed that is comfortable for you and try to at least meet the speed limit.
Avoid the left "fast" lane unless you're passing or turning soon. And avoid any kind of altercation: simply let the youth pass you in a calm and relaxed manner. This will avoid serious dangers.
Take Care Of Your Health
The reason that senior drivers often struggle to drive is that their health has started to slip away from them. This problem can make it difficult to keep track of traffic and cognitively process what is happening. However, it is possible to boost your abilities by keeping your health in order.
Some of the most important aspects of your health you need to check include: your vision; your hearing; the effects of your medication; and any drowsiness you may feel.
These four concerns are among the most common contributors to poor driving activities from seniors. Keep them from making an impact on your life by doing the following:
- Get your vision checked at least once a year
- Always wear your corrective lenses
- Clean your windshield, mirrors, and headlights
- Increase the brightness of your interior lights
- Schedule a hearing appointment at least once a year
- Always wear your hearing aids when driving
- Keep your radio off to avoid distractions
- Visually inspect traffic in both lanes before opening your door or changing lanes
- Ask your doctor about changing to medicines that don't confuse you or cause drowsiness
- Sleep at least 8-10 hours every day
Self-Monitor Your Driving
Last, but not least, is self-monitoring your own driving. Health problems and other concerns may be impairing your driving abilities and you need to be honest and open to your troubles. Check yourself regularly for the following behaviors:
- Trouble seeing the road, even with corrective lenses
- Difficulty keeping track of directions
- Getting lost or confused in familiar areas
- Decreased reaction time
- Drifting into other lanes
- Changing speed rapidly for no reason
- Multiple near accidents or even one real accident
- Parking problems or running into cars for no reason
You don't necessarily need to stop driving if you show these signs. However, you do need to immediately talk to your doctor and see if there are any ways you can correct them. This can help avoid destroying your driving confidence and keeping you stuck at home without a car.
As you can see, there's no reason that you can't keep driving late into life. While there are benefits to no longer owning a car or driving, they are balanced by the freedom you gain with driving. Just make sure you are honest about your limitations and you should be fine.