Be alert! December 3 – 7 is Older Driver Safety Awareness Week
Be alert! December 3 – December 7 is Older Driver Safety Awareness Week. One of the most important things, as we age, is independence. However, with increasing age comes a decline in physical, mental and sensory abilities that can challenge a person’s continued ability to drive safely. Here are a few warning signs to look for:
- Delayed response to unexpected situations
- Becoming easily distracted while driving
- Decrease in confidence while driving
- Having difficulty moving into or maintaining the correct lane of traffic
- Hitting curbs when making right turns or backing up
- Getting scrapes or dents on car, garage or mailbox
- Having frequent close calls
- Driving too fast or too slow for road conditions
If you or someone you love has exhibited some of these warning signs, it is important for their safety as well as the safety of others around them to discuss limiting or stopping driving. This is a sensitive topic so approach it with care and love. There are also professionals such as occupational therapists that have the skills to evaluate a person’s overall ability to operate a vehicle safely, and upon identifying any issues they might have, they can also provide rehabilitation services. This can help in making an informed decision.
There are things than an older driver can do to help improve driving skills and confidence behind the wheel:
- Listen to Your Body – don’t get behind the wheel if you do not feel well
- Schedule Hearing and Vision Tests
- Talk to a Doctor About Your Medications and don’t get behind the wheel while taking any medication that impairs your ability to drive
- Avoid more dangerous conditions such as driving at night or in bad weather conditions
- Take a driver education course to keep you updated on new laws and to help boost your confidence.
Older drivers are at an increased risk of being injured or killed in a crash due to increasing frailty and underlying health problems. As Older Driver Safety Awareness Week approaches, the attorneys at Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith hope that you will take the time and steps necessary to speak with friends and loved ones about these tips to ensure that our roads are safer for everyone.
This blog is by Firm Partner Glenn Siegel.