Sooner or later, most of us will come to the time in life when driving a car is inadvisable. Diminished capacities—reaction time, vision or strength—may make us less able to operate automobiles safely. To remain a driver for as long as possible, think about these possibilities:
- Say a prayer before turning on the ignition. Pray fervently while driving.
- Don’t’ drive as much, for as long or to as many places.
- Where you used to look both ways twice, do that three or four times now. Especially if your vision is a problem.
- Shut off the car’s radio, smartphone, music player, lawnmower, steam iron, film-editing software or onboard television—anything that might distract you from the road.
- If it’s offered locally, enroll is a drivers’ education class aimed at senior citizens.
- Consult with your auto insurance agent about special resources for older adult drivers.
- When you drive alone, talk to yourself (out loud) about what you see around you. By noting the actions of other drivers, pedestrians, hazards, likely scenarios, road conditions and signage, you help stay mindful about what’s occurring.
- Get a regular eye examination.
- If you’re having problems with night vision, do not drive from dusk to dawn.
- Invite another person to accompany you on non-routine outings. Another set of eyes helps keep you aware and focused. Don’t jabber your way into distracted driving!
- Read over your state’s current Rules of the Road booklet.
- Keep your car in top mechanical shape; talk to the mechanic about safety features that are part of the car’s equipment.
- Wear your safety belt at all times.
By paying extra attention to this previously automatic part of your daily life, you may be able to enjoy more years of the independence that comes from owning and driving a car.
Watch your driving…!