Dec 3 – 7, 2018 is Older Driver Safety Awareness Week. It serves as a reminder that as we age, our physical changes can affect driving. Decline in vision, certain medical conditions and medications, can affect driving safety. According to the CDC, one in 6 drivers in the U.S. are 65 years or older, and four in five older adults take one or more medications daily.
Whether you are still confident driving or are having some concerns, there are a few steps you can take to stay safe on the road.
- Check how your medication is impacting your driving. You can talk to your doctor about the medications you take and possible side effects and tell them if you experience blurry vision, dizziness, sleepiness, confusion, and/or loss of consciousness. AAA offers on online tool to help adults check how medications may affect safe driving
- Attend a CarFit event. Senior Centers usually offer these events in collaboration with AAA. At a CarFit clinic, a trained technician and occupational therapists will help you find the right fit for comfort and safety. The sessions take about 20 minutes. Go to car-fit.org to find an event or contact the local senior center to see if they have a CarFit event scheduled
- Go back to school. Taking a refresher driving course will help you keep your driving knowledge fresh and might even help you save money on insurance. DMV offers a Mature Driver Course and AAA offers a course that can be take online called Roadwise Driver
- Have your eyes checked regularly and wear your glasses as directed
- Plan your route before you get going and consider bringing a friend with you
- Assess how changes associated with aging affect your driving by using this NHTSA tool
- Keep moving! Staying active and walking helps keep you stronger and driving safely longer.
Caregivers can also use the NHTSA tool to assess whether a loved one should stop driving. NHTSA offers a comprehensive guide to assessing your loved ones driving abilities and resources to initiate the difficult conversation. And if you live in Mercer County, check out our RideProvide transportation program, a door-to-door transportation program.
Stay safe everyone!