For many of us the ability to drive to and from the places we wish to visit, is an overlooked freedom that allows us great independence. If you need to get to work, want an ice cream cone, or simply feel like taking a scenic drive, you have the ability to hop in your car and go! While age 16 tends to be the age most of us discover this newfound freedom of getting behind a wheel, the age at which we choose to retire our car keys can vary by individual. In fact, there is no required or even suggested age at which an elderly individual is deemed unable to drive, as one’s driving ability varies outside of age. You may be asking yourself “how will I know when its time to stop driving”? Compiled below is a list of suggestions and warning signs to help you determine if and when it might be time for you to resign from driving.
Studies have identified a correlation between decreased depression and loneliness in elderly individuals who drive versus those who don’t. Here is a list of recommendations to help you stay safe on the road longer as you age.
- Get your eyes checked regularly
- Annual hearing exams
- Get plenty of sleep each night
- Talk to your doctor to ensure any of your medications will not disrupt your driving abilities
- Find the right car
- Utilize cars with backup cameras
- Keep car mirrors and windows clean
- Maintain breaks and headlights on vehicle
- Avoid driving in harsh weather conditions
- Avoid late night drives
- Leave ample room between you and surrounding drivers
Warning signs for unsafe driving
- Bad vision
- Increased citations
- Car accident
- Close calls to car accident
- Poor hearing
- Memory loss
- Delayed Reflexes
If you believe it maybe be time for your or a loved one to give up driving, do not by afraid to open up a discussion on the topic. Do not be discouraged or ashamed to make some adjustments in order to maximize your overall safety. There exist various alternative methods of transportation that will allow for you to be a passenger as you reach your destinations. You may even find that giving up driving saves you money and reduces stress.
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