How to Help Seniors Stay Safe on the Road
Many seniors are loath to give up their driving privileges. That’s understandable — to many Americans, their car symbolizes freedom and independence.
But as seniors age, their driving can become a menace to other drivers. From missed turn signals to unpredictable braking, your senior might be endangering themselves and others.
In order to minimize and avoid collisions, it’s important to follow these safety tips to ensure that your senior is still capable of driving.
1) Get their Vision and Hearing Checked Regularly
Senses tend to deteriorate quickly in the elderly. Scheduling quarterly or bi-yearly hearing and vision tests can help establish how well your senior can still see and hear. Once your senior passes a certain threshold, you should begin discussing other alternatives to driving with them.
Even if vision and hearing imperfections can be corrected by devices, their reaction time to stimuli may be decreased, putting them in danger.
2) Drive when the Sun Shines
Driving at night can be challenging for anyone with visual issues. To avoid increased accidents, encourage your senior to only drive during the day in good conditions. Driving in rain leads to an increased need for reaction times; the same goes for snow and ice. Fog can limit visibility severely. It makes sense that your senior should prioritize driving during the day.
Tip: Encourage your senior not to tint their windows, which can also cause visual impairment.
3) Take a Refresher Course
There’s nothing wrong with getting back to basics! A driver refresher course can give your senior the opportunity to feel more confident and understand more about driving. What’s more, a refresher course also gives them the opportunity to raise concerns or questions with a neutral party. While they might not feel comfortable doing so with a family member, they may feel more confident with a neutral driving instructor.
Since driving provides such a feeling of mobility and independence, it makes sense to keep your senior on the road for as long as possible. But when senses deteriorate and reaction times slow, driving can be hazardous. Ensure that your senior stays as safe as possible by limiting driving hours to sunlight, getting their senses checked, and having them take a refresher course.