As we get older our bodies start to change. At a certain point these changes to our senses (including our vision, hearing, and ability to react quickly) can start to catch up on us. Most of us can safely continue driving into our senior years, but knowing which driving habits we need to alter to accommodate our changing bodies can make a huge difference.
CAA Senior Driving Site
Last week the Canadian Automobile Association launched a new tool to help senior drivers ensure that their driving is up to standard. The Seniors Driving Site has four portals with activities and information on how to stay safe on the road. The four sections include:
- Assess your driving skills
- How aging can affect driving
- How to maintain driving skills
- Adjusting driving habits
Tips for Elderly Drivers
The four main areas that seniors need to watch out for are their vision, hearing, motor skills and reaction time. Here are steps you can take:
1) Avoid Driving at Night
As we get older, the amount of light we need to see clearly changes. As our eyesight ages it becomes much more difficult to see things when they are not well lit. At night, we may not catch pedestrians, cyclists, or anyone else moving through the dark. If you notice you’re beginning to find it challenging to see at night, this could mean that you need to move to more daytime driving.
2) Take Care of Your Hearing
Hearing loss is one of the most ignored aspects of aging. Don’t wait until you miss that horn or ambulance siren to find out that your ears need an update. Be proactive and get your hearing tested.
Here are some warning signs to look out for:
- Difficulty hearing things in noisy areas
- Difficulty distinguishing high-pitched sounds
- Noticing that it is difficult to pick up children’s voices
- Voices sound mumbled or slurred
- Ringing sounds in the ears
3) Know Your Reaction Time
As we age ailments such as arthritis and loss of muscle strength can slow our response time. We all know that unexpected things happen while driving – cars pop out of side roads, pedestrians jaywalk, and animals run across our path. We can’t change what’s out there, so being able to judge changes in your own reaction time is extremely important.
To learn more about what you can do to stay safe on the road, visit the CAA driving assessment module and watch this video on driving tips for seniors.
Want advice on an accident you were in? Get a free, no obligation consultation with the personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by calling 613-222-4529.