Mark A. Cornelius
Safe Older Drivers Mean Fewer Injuries, For All
Safer older drivers mean fewer injuries, for all
Driving safety is important for everyone, of course, whether you’re driving, on the road in another car, an I-4 Orlando construction worker, or a pedestrian. Crashes cause personal injury. We all need each and every driver to be focused on the road, for our safety and for the safety of our loved ones.
Older drivers, however, have a significant need when it comes to keep driving safely, beyond the injury factor. Driving keeps them engaged and functional in their communities.
Whether it’s lunch with friends or a trip to the supermarket or physician’s appointment, the ability to drive safely and be a member of the motoring public represents mobility, freedom, and independence. But at the same time driving becomes an important bridge to the outside world. As people age they are more likely to experience issues with things like hearing or vision loss.
The first week of December is Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, as designated by the American Occupational Therapy Association.
Whether you’re an older person or the loved one of an older person, these tips for senior drivers to stay safe on our roadways safe may come in handy:
- Avoid drinking and driving. Along with being older, they increase your chances of a crash.
- Whenever possible, avoid driving at night or in inclement weather.
- Obey ALL traffic rules.
- Get your vision checked at least once a year
- Consult with your doctor on how any medical issues or medications could be compromising your driving ability already.
Signs it may be time to reconsider driving or have a conversation with a loved one about their driving: Near misses, slower reflexes and difficulty reading road signs. Giving up driving is not the only option: A change in eyeglass prescription or vehicle accessories such as additional mirrors or backup cameras can be solutions as well. If a driver does need to hang up their keys, these days of Uber and Lyft have brought us even more convenient options of transportation.
Driving is an important part of our lives in this Country, and it does not diminish as we age.
But safety for older people and others around them is, as well must always remain our paramount concern.