Automobile accidents can be very dangerous and are the cause of death for many people each year. Cars are also one of the most convenient ways to get around for those without access to public transportation that are going somewhere that is out of walking distance. We at Carefect Home Care Services understand that many elderly people need to be able to drive themselves places and would like to share some tips on how they can do so safely.
Take Good Care of Yourself
The first thing you need to do as a safe elderly driver is to make sure to take good care of yourself. Staying physically active will allow you to be able to successfully operate your car by making sure that your body is able to handle turning the steering wheel or using the gear shift. You should also make sure that you get regular vision and hearing checks if you are concerned about your vision or hearing. Many seniors get into or cause accidents because they suffer from some type of vision or hearing impairment and they do not notice other drivers or emergency vehicles on the road. Having a regular check-up will ensure that you are capable of seeing and hearing what is going on around you so that you can react appropriately without getting into an accident. If you have any chronic conditions, you should make sure that you keep them under control when you are driving. For instance, if you think you might have a seizure while driving due to certain medical condition, you should discuss this with your doctor before getting behind the wheel. Seniors should also talk with their doctor to make sure that their medications won’t cause any side effects that could be dangerous for them while driving such as drowsiness or dizziness.
Time of Day
When you are planning to drive, you should make sure to consider the time of day when you will be out. Seniors often find it easier to drive during the day, so if you can help it, you should try to plan your trips so that you will be home before it gets dark. You should also take work traffic into consideration. Driving in heavy traffic can be frustrating for many people and seniors should try to avoid driving in heavy traffic so that they will not have to deal with the hassles and wrecks such type of traffic can cause. Avoiding work traffic means scheduling any appointments after the morning work traffic and before rush hour at the end of the work day. A lot of workers go out on their lunch break so the roads can be a bit more crowded then, but that usually is not enough to cause concern for most drivers.
Consider the Weather
Weather is another very important factor to consider when driving. Rain, fog, ice and snow can all be very dangerous for people to drive in, especially seniors. Seniors should be very careful when driving in the rain because that can often make the roads slick and many people slide when stopping. Fog can also be a concern because very thick fog makes it hard to see other cars on the road or your other surroundings from a distance. Seniors do not necessarily have to completely give up driving in the rain or fog, but they should use extra caution when driving in these conditions just to be on the safe side. When it comes to snow and ice, seniors might want to consider waiting until the roads are clear before driving. Snow and ice can be dangerous for everyone, but seniors should be especially careful of these conditions because if they are injured it will take them longer to recover.
Focus on the Road
The last thing to keep in mind is that you should always keep your focus on the road. Having another person in the car can be helpful because they can control the air conditioning or the radio for you and provide an extra set of eyes to look out for things on the road as long as they are not distracting you by talking too much or trying to have you look at things on the side of the road.
Following all of these tips should help seniors to be safe on the road so that they can maintain their mobility and sense of independence for as long as possible. If at some point you no longer feel comfortable driving on your own please contact us at Carefect Home Care Services to discuss how we can assist. As part of our home care services our trained caregivers can drive clients to different doctor appointments, social events or even just for a quick ride to the store for some groceries.
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