Retirement isn’t what it used to be. Today’s retirees are more active than ever, and most are traveling and enjoying plenty of social activities. This is great news for all of us. But because driving can pose a particular challenge as we get older, take these steps to keep yourself safe on the road.
Attend regular vision and hearing screenings. Since changes in vision or hearing can happen gradually, you might not notice them. But over time they can impact your driving ability, and create the potential for danger on the road. Luckily, many vision and hearing problems are easily corrected.
Maintain appropriate distance from other drivers. Allow yourself plenty of time to stop, in the event that the car in front of you stops suddenly.
Buy a car that suits you. Newer vehicles include high-tech advances such as back-up cameras, a variety of alarms that tell you when other vehicles are approaching or in the way, auto-dimming bright lights, and even seats that auto-adjust to your favorite position.
Maintain your vehicle appropriately. Small actions like cleaning rearview mirrors and changing wiper blades can make a big difference to your safety.
Consider necessary modifications to your vehicle. If your mobility is limited in any way, ask your doctor or occupational therapist for recommendations. You might be able to modify your car slightly, to make it easier to continue driving.
Enroll in a defensive driving program. This is a good idea for anyone, of any age. Defensive driving drastically reduces your risk of an accident, by teaching you how to anticipate and prepare for the actions of other drivers.
Use your car’s GPS function. The voice program will tell you when to turn, or notify you of upcoming traffic changes. This helps you keep your eyes off of maps, and on the road. You’re also less likely to get lost, make unnecessary turns, or run low on gas.
Never drive when you feel sleepy. Sleepiness increases your risk of accidents. If you need to drive at night, leave extra space between yourself and the car in front of you, and look down and to the right if another vehicle’s bright beams obstruct your vision.
Carry a cell phone. A roadside emergency can happen to anyone. Keep your cell phone charged, and carry it wherever you go, so that help is always just one call away.