6 Older Driver Safety Tips Every Senior Should Know

Every year, we recognize the first full week of December as Older Driver Safety Week. As you’ve probably guessed, this event highlights elderly drivers’ challenges on the road. It also emphasizes ways to manage their risk of accidents.

 

As the boomer generation ages, safety among elderly drivers becomes even more important. More people will be driving with poor eyesight, hearing, and reflexes, so raising awareness about how they can stay as safe is a good idea. Therefore, remember the following tips if you’re entering your senior years.

 

Follow all basic driver safety guidelines.

 

Of course, the number one older driver safety tip is to follow basic road rules. Obey all traffic laws, wear your seatbelt, avoid drinking and driving, never text behind the wheel, and allow plenty of space between your car and others. Also, review our tips for driving at night and on ice and snow.

 

Drive the right car.

 

You might find it easier to drive a vehicle with power steering, power brakes, large mirrors, and an automatic transmission if you have stiff muscles or joints. You could also install hand controls for your gas and brake pedals if you struggle with leg issues.

 

Prioritize your health.

 

One of the best older driver safety tips is to keep healthy. Eat well and exercise to keep your body strong and flexible. Stiff joints can hamper your ability to brake quickly, turn the steering wheel sharply, or crane your head to see behind your vehicle.

 

Also, get regular checkups, take your medication, have your hearing checked at least every three years, have your eyes checked yearly, and keep your eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions up to date. The better you care for yourself, the better off you’ll be on the road.

 

Be careful with medication.

 

Some medications can affect your ability to drive. So, read your prescription instructions carefully and ask your doctor if anything you’re taking might impair driving.

 

Think carefully about when and where you drive.

 

Sometimes, it might be best to stay home. For example, if you’re experiencing slow reaction times, consider driving only during the day or avoiding rush hour. You might also stay away from highways or keep close to home, where the streets are familiar.

 

Take a safe driving course.

 

A senior defensive driving course teaches the latest techniques for those who want to put safety first. Check out the AAA RoadWise Driver course if you’re interested.  

 

Of course, you could follow every older driver safety tip and still have an accident. That’s why it’s always a good idea to keep your auto insurance updated. Call a Hibbs agent to review your policy.