How to Decrease Your Risk of a Car Accident as You Age
By Anica Oaks
As most people get older, they may begin to experience changes in their vision, response time and hearing, which may impact their driving safety. Although everyone is different, it might be a good idea to take some precautions to help you retain good driving habits and stay safe.
Maintain Health Exams
Everyone should get routine medical checkups each year or as recommended by their physician. Older people who may have various health issues or be taking certain medications should also be checked periodically to ensure they are managing their health and prescriptions safely. A doctor can advise if or when someone should stop driving for any reason, so it is a good idea to ask if you have concerns about your ability to manage a vehicle. Vision and hearing checks are especially important as you get older, so keep up with these as well.
Stay Alert When Driving
Sleeping problems can affect anyone, especially those who are taking medicine that may cause them to feel sleepier. Driving extra early in the day or at night can make some drivers feel less alert. Before getting behind the wheel, make sure that you feel awake enough to drive. If you feel dizzy, fatigued or confused, contact your doctor before getting into the car.
Although it can be scary to feel like you might be not as good of a driver as you used to be, ask a friend or family member for their opinion. Take them for a drive or on an errand with you and ask them to assess your driving skills. If they point out things like they notice you are straining to see the road or wavering over the middle yellow line, those are red flags that suggest you should follow up on with your doctor. You might just need a new medication to safeguard your driving.
Consult an Accident Attorney
It could be a good idea to contact a car accident law attorney who can explain the rights and responsibilities of older drivers along with risks for accidents and penalties if you are at fault. Although some people continue to drive safely and responsibly well into their 90s, others may need to reduce or eliminate their driving time at a younger age due to health concerns. Senior transport is often available, and family members or friends are usually eager to help when needed.
Be vigilant about your health, especially if you continue to drive while getting older. Safe drivers of all ages make the road a better place for everyone.