Driving safety for older adults is a very important topic. Senior drivers need to know the particular dangers they are likely to face on the roads and what they can do to stay safe.
Older people get lots of benefits from continuing to drive. Some senior drivers are still in employment and need to use their vehicle to get to work. Other older people have retired and now have more time to travel to see friends and family and visit destinations they have always wanted to experience.
When people get older, they often become less mobile. This can make the ability to drive and get around by road especially important. Older people can also face particular dangers on the road, such as reduced mobility and reaction time, or confusion with new forms of technology that they are not used to.
Today, we’re here to talk about some key ways senior drivers can stay safe on the road.
What Helps Older Drivers Stay Out Of Collisions?
Older drivers can stay out of collisions by:
- Making sure they are driving a safe, well-maintained vehicle with appropriate disability modifications
- Practicing safe defensive driving
- Never driving when tired or under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Knowing what conditions they are likely to encounter on their route
Safe Driving For Seniors: How To Stay Safe On The Road
Here are the top ways that senior drivers can stay safe on the road.
1. Drive The Safest Possible Vehicle
Driving a safe vehicle is crucial. As a rule, newer models are always safer than older models. Safety features are improving at an exponential rate, so choosing to drive a newer vehicle will keep senior drivers safer.
2. Make Sure Your Vehicle Is Well-Maintained
A well-maintained vehicle is far less likely to malfunction in dangerous ways. Driving a well-maintained vehicle is important for staying safe on the road, particularly for senior drivers.
3. Have All Necessary Disability Vehicle Adaptations
Older disabled drivers can stay safe on the road by making sure their vehicle is fitted with all necessary disability vehicle adaptations.
4. Practice Defensive Driving
Defensive driving can keep senior drivers safe on the road. Defensive driving means:
- Always having safety as a first priority
- Avoiding distractions
- Being aware of your surroundings
- Not relying on good driving from other road users
- Driving at a safe speed
- Maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front
5. Never Drive While Sleepy Or Drowsy
Driving while fatigued can be lethal. Senior drivers should always make sure that they pull in for a rest or a nap or stop to get some fresh air and a coffee if they ever feel tired or drowsy while driving.
6. Never Drive Under The Influence Or Drugs Or Alcohol
All drivers can stay safe by never driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Older drivers tend to require more medication than younger drivers, so senior drivers should always make sure they understand the side effects of any medication they are taking.
7. Have Essential Emergency Equipment In Their Vehicle
It is crucial that senior drivers always keep their vehicles stocked with essential safety equipment. If a senior driver gets into a traffic accident, if their vehicle breaks down, or if they get stranded by bad weather, safety equipment will become very important.
Senior drivers should always have the following items in their vehicle:
- First aid kit
- Drinking water
- Back-up medication
- Spare tire, tripod jack, wheel wrench
- Tool kit
- Jumper cables
- Flashlight and batteries
- Reflective triangles and vest
- Fire extinguisher
- Duct tape
- Cell phone and car mobile phone charger
- Warm clothes and blankets
- Snow shovel, snow brush, cat litter for traction
- Windshield washer fluid
How Can A Senior Driver Get A Disabled Parking Permit?
Senior drivers can get a disabled parking permit by applying to their local disabled parking authorities. This is usually their local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
The first step is to have a consultation with a medical professional, who will verify that they have a disability that qualifies them to use disabled parking. This can be done quickly and easily at a telemedicine clinic such as Disabled Parking.
Once the medical professional has verified their disability, they will sign an application form and email it to the applicant. This form should then be completed by the applicant and submitted to the local DMV. It is a quick and easy process, so get your disabled parking permit online today!