Top tips to help stay safe on the road

Maybe time for a modern car?
Maybe time for a modern car?

Driving is a great way to remain independent, but it's normal for our driving abilities to change as we get older. By reducing risk factors and incorporating safe driving practices, many of us can continue driving safely long into our senior years. But we do have to pay attention to any warning signs and make appropriate adjustments. Here are some top tips to help stay safe on the road.

Stay physically active- Physical activity improves your strength and flexibility. This can make it easier to turn the driving wheel, look over your shoulder and make other movements whilst driving or parking.

Make sure your car is suitable for you- Modern cars have power steering, automatic gear boxes, reversing warnings and so on. Older cars may be more difficult to drive, they may have history for you but now might be the best time to consider a modern upgrade.

Have regular sight and hearing tests- Impaired hearing can be a concern for older drivers as it limits the ability to hear an approaching emergency vehicle or train. Common age-related vision problems, for example cataracts, can make it difficult to see clearly or drive at night. Ask your doctor how often to schedule vision and hearing tests. Even if you think your hearing and vision are fine, stick to your doctor's recommended examination schedule.

Understand your limitations- Be aware of your limitations and work with them. For example, vehicles that feature larger, easier to read dials may be more suitable if your eye sight is poor. Also, if your hands hurt when gripping the steering wheel you can use a steering wheel cover that makes holding the wheel more comfortable.

Drive in optimal conditions- You can improve driver safety by driving during the daytime, at non peak times, in good weather and in familiar areas. If visibility is poor consider taking public transport.

Plan ahead- Plan your route ahead of time so that you don’t need to read a map for directions whilst driving. Or, if you use a GPS device, enter your destination before you start driving. Whist you’re driving, don’t do anything that takes your focus from the road.

Update your driving skills- Consider taking a refresher course for older drivers. Depending on your policy, this might even earn you a discount on your car insurance.

As we age, our driving abilities will inevitably change. By following safe driving practices like these, you can reduce the risk factors and continue driving safely.

Ask us to help – If you feel you want to go somewhere but do not feel up to driving then we can help. Your CAREGiver can drive you. Just contact our office to arrange this. This can be a short trip to the doctors, hospital, hair dressers and shops or to places further afield for a trip out! The choices are endless!

Ring me, Victoria or one of my team on 01992 66677 to arrange.

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