Getting older comes with changes. As the years pass by, we face changes. Some good, some bad. But, through all that time— we learn a little bit more. One of the toughest things about getting older is staying safe while driving. Our vision typically gets worse, reflexes start to waver, and in some ways, we don’t have the same abilities that we used to. Staying safe behind the wheel is always a concern, it has been since we started driving.

We’ve always worked hard to be good drivers, and good participants in our roadway systems. But, with age, the implications of this get to be a little bit more than they were. So we’re here to help you, senior drivers. Whether you need to hire a driver, call in your kids, or you’re doing just fine— there are a few steps to take before you get behind the wheel as a senior driver.

Staying Safe Behind the Wheel: Senior Drivers

Timely Hearing and Vision Tests

The first step to staying safe behind the wheel, is making sure you’re equip to be there in the first place. Taking part in annual or semi-annual hearing and vision tests are the best way for you to make the decision. If either of the two are getting progressively worse from year to year, it is best to start finding ways to limit your driving. If your eyesight and hearing are still tip top— that’s great! But, it still wouldn’t hurt to have a plan in place for when/if the day comes. Whether that be delivery grocers, hiring someone to do your shopping and errands for you— whatever it is, making a plan for that time is a responsible and smart way to be prepared.

If It’s Nasty Out, Stay In

Driving when the weather is nasty, always comes with a higher risk. So, try to avoid those times if you can. No one wants to get stuck out in a bad storm or very heavy rain. If you can avoid it, do so. While this article is poignant to senior drivers, this is a fact anyone should adhere to. Whether you believe yourself to be an amazing driver, or not, you cannot account for the actions of other people. So, if you can skip it— skip it.

Do Not Drive Under the Influence

Prescription medications can have some pretty nasty side effects. From hallucinations, to blackouts, to headaches, stomach aces, suicidal thoughts… the list is, quite literally, endless. Any one of these side effects could be detrimental if you are behind the wheel of a car. So, the best choice you can make is to not drive and take medications at the same time. If you are still under the influence, ask for help or hold off on running your errands to ensure yours, and everyone else’s, safety.