4 Risk Factors for Seniors While Driving

4 Risk Factors for Seniors While Driving

Old age often means having a bounty of life experience to use in your daily life, but it also means coping with certain limitations. These can often make driving more dangerous, so it is important to take precautions to ensure safety. Following are a number of physical limitations that occur with age and ways to offset them on the road.

Vision

Old age often affects the eyes, causing them to take longer to focus. This can make it more difficult to recognize changes in traffic, see road signs, and drive safely after dark. Some diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma that often develop in later years can also make driving difficult.

Prescription lenses are often the answer to vision loss. In addition, slowing down and making use of a collision warning system while driving can also help. At night when light glare can become a problem, looking off to the side of oncoming lights can keep you from being blinded.

Hearing

Distinguishing sirens and other sounds from the tumultuous noise of a busy road can be more difficult when you’re older. Hearing problems, including muffling and ringing in the ears, can be handled with hearing aids, medications, or certain operations, depending on what the specific problem involves. Consulting with a doctor to find the right solution is recommended.

Medical Conditions

Arthritis, seizures, sleep disorders, dementia, and other physical or mental limitations can severely impede driving. Prescription drugs taken for these conditions can also have side effects that make driving more dangerous, so consulting with a doctor when on these medications is important to safety on the road.

Reaction Time

Naturally, with poorer eyesight, older cognition, and stiff joints, reaction time becomes worse in general. The causes for slower reaction time can often be treated, but it is best to consult with a doctor to make sure the treatment itself doesn’t interfere with your ability to drive.

Changing driving habits to give yourself more time to react to changes in traffic is absolutely key. Following at a safe distance, avoiding left turns, and reducing speed can all help. Also, getting enough sleep and eliminating distractions will alleviate the causes of slower reaction time.

Vehicle Safety Systems

Finally, a properly equipped vehicle can be instrumental in helping seniors be more safe on the road. The Safe Drive Systems RD-140 radar scans the road ahead, tracking traffic patterns and providing the extra seconds warning needed to avoid accidents. Whether you or a loved one is in need of a little more security on the road, contacting Safe Drive Systems can provide what you need.