Elderly Drivers: Safety Measures and Alternative Transportation Options

Recognizing that people’s abilities may change as they age is the first step toward deciding whether it is still safe for you or an elderly loved one to continue getting behind the wheel of a car. Making the right decision at the right time in this regard may prevent you from being in an accident and requiring medical care from an accident clinic in Miami.

What Activities Does Age Impact?

Vision Acuity

It is common for people to have difficulty seeing well as they age. Depth perception may not be what it used to be, and judging distances accurately may become more challenging. Continuing to drive when vision is not at its best is a recipe for an accident.

Slower Reaction Times

Age also impacts the time it takes for people to react when faced with different situations. This may make them take a bit longer to apply the brake or be unsure as to how to proceed when all that was needed was for the wheel to be turned to the side to avoid a crash.

Diminished Flexibility

Joints become less flexible and have a decreased range of motion as people age. This can make it difficult for them to maneuver the steering wheel, turn to see blind spots, or even put needed pressure on the pedals. As a result, overall driving performance may suffer.

Increased Risk of Injuries

Studies have confirmed that older drivers are much more likely to be involved in crashes, sustain injuries, and even lose their lives in vehicular accidents.

Safety Measures

Self-assessment is vital in these cases. Becoming aware of the changes in your physical abilities and how they affect your driving can be life-saving. If you start noticing difficulties reading street or traffic signs, or if you realize you no longer feel confident steering the car, or fear you will end up in an accident, there may be certain safety measures you can try before giving up driving altogether.

Start by avoiding driving during peak traffic hours, during bad weather, or at night. Make sure your glasses have the right prescription, and talk to your doctor if you feel some medications make you dizzy or too tired.

When in the car, make sure the seat and mirrors are properly adjusted for your comfort, always wear your seatbelt, and maintain a safe distance from vehicles around you.

Alternative Transportation Options

Despite being unable to drive, older adults still enjoy getting out and have places to go, appointments to keep, and other reasons to need to get to different places. That is why they or their caregivers need to explore alternative transportation options that will serve their needs while keeping them safe.

Public transportation is a good place to start and it is important to understand what routes and timetables are available close by. Additionally, cities offer discounted fares or specialized services. Finally, they may consider calling a ridesharing service or subscribing to home delivery services for groceries and other vital items.

Author: Brandon Park