Driving is one of many daily tasks that most of us take for granted. However, as we age, it’s important to recognize that many factors which affect our ability to operate a vehicle change – unfortunately, for the worse.
Being mindful of these changes is crucial because driving a vehicle when we are no longer able to safely do so is extremely dangerous. Another reason to focus to focus on these factors is that there are steps we can all take along the way to help preserve the necessary skills for as long as possible. Here are five to consider:
There are countless reasons to make regular appointments with your doctor(s), but as it relates to driving, it’s especially important that you’re aware of – and able to address – and chronic illnesses/issues that could negatively impact your driving ability. Be sure to carefully read the labels on any medication you may be taking as well. Many will warn against operating motor vehicles will under their influence.
This could also fall under the previous tip, but in addition to check-up with your primary physician and any necessary specialists, you should also get have your seeing and hearing checked as often as possible/recommended. When you visit these specialists, let them know that you still drive and wish to continue doing so. That way they are well aware of your motivation and can be sure to factor that in to their evaluations. Remember, safety is the first priority when you’re on the road.
If you find that driving is more challenging for you during certain times of day or in specific types of weather, try to avoid being on the road during those hours or conditions. You want to be as comfortable as possible when behind the wheel, so cater your schedule accordingly.
Perhaps it seems strange that exercise can actually be beneficial when driving, but it is. By being physically active – regardless of the extent – you help keep reflexes sharper and maintain range of motion in your arms, necks, etc. This comes in handly when turning the wheel or looking over your shoulder to monitor traffic. Exercising will also help your overall health and well-being, which will likely add to your comfort level when driving.
If you want to be sure your driving is still up to snuff, or if you’re having some concerns, schedule a course with a local driving school and let them take you out on the road. They will be able to recognize and problems and, if possible, help you correct them. You can also do this with not instructors who know you well and who you trust to properly assess your abilities and be honest about your skill level.
Driving is a convenience that nobody wants to forfeit. It also symbolizes a level of freedom that nobody, regardless of age, wants to surrender. However, you must realize that driving a vehicle can be extremely dangerous, and if you’re no longer capable of doing so safely, it’s important that you do the right thing. You are putting your life – and the lives of others – at risk.
© Lourdes-Noreen McKeen | 315 South Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, FL33401 | 561.655.8544