At it’s best, driving in Houston is a challenge for skillful drivers who boast of Mario Andretti-type reflexes and abilities. Age-related limitations such as decreased vision can impact senior driving safety.
And although there is no single answer for age-related driving concerns, here are a few tips that may help older drivers who are concerned about minor vision limitations:
• Get eye exams at least every 2 years – with detection many common eye issues can be slowed or treated before they affect vision too seriously.
• Drive during the day – seniors who have issues with night driving or glare should limit their driving to daytime.
• Turn your head frequently – this can help expand more limited peripheral vision when driving.
• Keep car clean – the windshield, wipers and mirrors should all be kept clean so they don’t further obstruct vision by causing a glare.
• Install a larger rear view mirror – for seniors with more limited visibility, a larger mirror will increase where and how they can see. Also, new technology such as Nissan’s Smart rear view mirror may be an added bonus. The prototype mirror features an LCD monitor that helps drivers monitor blind spots and other road conditions.
• Adjust mirrors properly – adjusting mirrors properly will improve range of vision. Also, check out the American Automobile Association website for senior driving safety tips that address topics such as auto configurations.
In addition to a self-assessment of driving techniques and minor adjustments to the automobile, we recommend a frank discussion with a health care provider to answer any questions or concerns about senior driving safety and ability.
Additionally, transportation assistance is available through company’s such as Home Instead Senior Care and other driving-related topics can be assessed by visiting www.caregiverstress.com.
Senior driving safety is not a conversation that is held once and it’s done. It’s important for family caregivers and senior drivers to continually assess driving abilities as aging, physical limitations, and medications can have a significant impact on a driver’s awareness and their ability.