Driving Tips for Senior Citizens
Focus on Your Health
Research from safe driving organizations in the US shows that doing regular exercise allows senior citizens to move more freely, react faster, and perform standard driving tasks more effectively than those who don’t exercise.
It is also important to take the time to be aware of any medication you may be taking, especially if there is a possibility that it can affect your ability to focus and concentrate. If in doubt, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for advice, most medications also feature advice on driving when under their effects on the leaflet included with the packaging.
Get Regular Eye Tests
It is entirely usual that your eyesight will decline with age, so it is vital that you ensure you are having regular tests. Not only can an eye test highlight obvious problems, but it can also allow early detection of certain conditions that may not demonstrate symptoms in the early stages.
Check Your Car Is Suitable for Your Needs
Before you buy a car or set out on a long journey, it is important to have a think about your driving. Where once your priorities might once have been style and performance, the chances are that the time has come to look for something with better functionality, comfort, and convenience.
When you are buying or renting a car, ask yourself questions such as: can you get in and out easily? Can you read the speedometer clearly? Do your lights illuminate a dark road effectively? Is the steering wheel thick enough for a good grip? Does the car have parking assistance? Having an appropriate that is suited to your needs is hugely important if you want to stay as safe and comfortable as possible for as long as possible.
Eliminate Longer Harder Journeys
When you are considering taking a long car journey, think about whether it is entirely necessary and what steps you can take to make it easier on yourself.
You might think about driving only in full daylight when your vision will be at its best. You might want to stay at home or use other modes of transport when it’s wet, icy, snowy or foggy.
Another thing you might want to consider it is only driving on familiar roads. Let someone else do the hard work if it is an area you are unfamiliar with, this might also be an ideal time to explore alternatives such as taxi, train or coach.
Learn from Your Mistakes and Near Misses
All good drivers reflect on their mistakes and try to learn from them. They think about situations where there was a greater element of risk than there needed to be and ask themselves what they could have done differently to make sure that particular situation is less likely to happen again.
Generally, we’re all so used to our own driving style that we don’t notice habits and actions that others will recognize as potentially risky. That means if someone points something out, it’s because they’re trying to reduce your risk, not because they’re looking to find fault. Try not to take offense, they are only pointing it out to try and make you safer, and once you’re aware of something, do your best to try and correct that behavior.
Plan Your Journeys
Driving requires a lot of concentration and effort, and senior drivers are more susceptible to the dangers of fatigue. So when you are planning a journey, build in plenty of breaks to give yourself time to rest and relax. Get familiar with using a sat nav to help you plan your routes, just make sure you programme it before you set out. Trying to program a sat nav while you are driving is almost as dangerous as using a mobile phone while driving, or being drunk.
The Northwest Driving School and Traffic School provides the Las Vegas community with live driving and traffic classes taught by seasoned instructors. All of our driving instructors have passed background checks, each automobile is DMV safety-approved and every member of the Northwest family is committed to providing excellent drivers ed and behind the wheel instruction.
At Northwest, you can expect to find outstanding classes, both on campus and behind the wheel, that are engaging, fact-filled, entertaining and geared toward success. We make no bones about it, we believe that Northwest provides the best driving lessons in Las Vegas, no matter your age or background. We are proud of the fact that 98% of our students pass their test on the first try. Call us at (702) 403-1592 to start your driving adventure with one of our expert instructors.
Master Instructor, Emeritus