Older drivers can face age-related physical limitations that can make driving unsafe. Without mobility, however, many seniors are unable to meet their basic needs, such as grocery shopping and going to the doctor. We want you to know that this dilemma is not lost on elder care advocates like our firm and the legal community.
Every year, the first week in December is recognized as Older Driver Safety Awareness Week. One of the missions of this movement is to promote senior-driver safety as well as to help Older Americans secure safe, reliable transportation when driving is no longer an option.
Although the annual event transpired earlier this month, a key point was that older adults can take action now to prevent or reduce the effects of inevitable physical changes that adversely impact driving. This, along with other elder can planning and precautions, can allow seniors to stay safe and independent longer.
Let us share with you ten ways that you and the Older American drivers you care about can stay safe on the road now, and throughout the year right here in our blog.
1. Follow a regular exercise program to increase physical strength and flexibility.
2. Review medicines, both prescription and over-the counter, with a doctor or pharmacist to eliminate impairing side-effects.
3. Having vision and hearing check-ups at least once a year, and wearing glasses, corrective lenses and hearing aids as required.
4. Only drive in daylight and in good weather.
5. Plan routes before driving.
6. Use safe intersections and easy parking areas.
7. Leave a large distance behind the cars when driving.
8. Avoid distractions, such as listening to a loud radio, talking on a cell phone, texting, or eating.
9. Always wear a seatbelt and never drive when impaired by alcohol or medicines.
10. Consider potential alternatives to driving, such as riding with a friend, rideshare services, or public transit.
For those of you who are looking for additional support in this area, we encourage you to talk to us. We work with Florida seniors and their loved ones as they plan to meet long-term care needs each and every day. Further, Older Americans can also use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “My Mobility Plan” for tips and resources regarding senior driving and alternative transportation. This planning tool can help older adults prepare for age-related changes similar to the way seniors plan for retirement.