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Stay Safe As You Drive

6 August, 2017

, Accident

It is a pleasure to set out on the roads on our own, a feeling of independence and control. But we all need to remember there comes a time when we need to slow down. It doesn’t mean we need to stop driving after a certain age. Just be cautious and assess yourself before you set out to drive. Changes in your health may also affect your driving skills over time. Don’t risk hurting yourself or others. And to be a bit more careful, talk with your doctor about any concerns you have about your health and driving.

As we age, our joints and muscles may weaken or stiffen. These changes might make it slightly difficult to turn our head to look back, turn the steering wheel quickly, or even brake safely. Our hearing might also diminish and make it harder to notice horns, sirens, or even noises that might come from your car. Driving requires a lot of alertness, and this might be an issue as we age.

Another challenge that we face as we age is driving at night. With age, our sight might not be as sharp as we would like it to be. No matter how careful we are, or how good our diet is, we require more light to see as we age. The muscles in our iris also tend to become less responsive leading to delay in adjusting our eyes to the headlights of approaching vehicles, and we also become very light sensitive. A prevalent issue that crops up is the clouding of the lens, the cataract formation. Just remember 90% of a driver’s reaction depends on vision, and we are just not engineered to see very well in the dark! But you can take a few precautions if you do think you can manage driving in the nights.

  • Clean the headlights as well and make sure the headlights are properly aligned.
  • Adjust the mirror manually to the night setting. 
  • Make sure your glasses are clean, else they will scatter light.
  • Avoid looking directly at approaching vehicles at night, even if their lights are dimmed.
  • Reduce your speed at night and increase the distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you.

You need not stop driving altogether, Just be a little more cautious. Maybe looking at this check list every time you decide to might help!

  • Drive on streets you know.
  • Drive to places that are easy to get to and close to home.
  • Start braking early when you need to stop.
  • Avoid heavy traffic areas or rush-hour driving when you can.
  • Expect extra time for travel if you are driving in poor road or weather conditions.
  • Try to limit your driving at night.
  • Do not drive when you are stressed or tired.
  • Always wear your seat belt and make sure your passengers wear their seat belts, too.
  • If you use glasses and/or hearing aid make sure you wear them.
  • Avoid distractions such as eating, listening to the radio, or talking to someone.
  • Keep both the front and back windows clear.
  • Accidents are not always avoidable since you can't control others on the road. Here are a few tips to think about in case you are involved in an accident.

Though it is a sense of independence and joy to drive on your own, remember we all need to slow down one day. For a change, let others do the driving. Sit back and enjoy the drive!

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