Driving can be very difficult for all ages so it is no surprise that as you progress through life it becomes more challenging. The first step is recognising that it is necessary to take extra precautions to ensure safety on the road. This statement is supported by evidence that states that the fatal crash rate rises sharply when a driver reaches the age of 70.
Understanding the challenges
The first step in improving road safety is understanding that ageing can affect driving; however it is also important to know that there is no set cut off for when a person should stop driving. Ageing can lead to a reduction in strength, flexibility of joints and coordination and reflexes; all of which are fundamental for driving.
Take Charge of your health
It is important to get regular health checks to ensure you are in the best state to drive. You should get your eyes checked every year as well as testing your hearing regularly. This allows you to be more aware on the road and significantly reduces the chance of an incident. Getting enough sleep and having regular check-ups with a doctor are also crucial factors in allowing you to drive for as long as possible as you move through life.
Choosing the right car and the right driving technique
Your car should always be kept in good condition and thus should be serviced regularly; to add to this it is a good idea to keep the windows and wing mirrors clean for good visibility as well as owning a vehicle with automatic transmission, power steering and power brakes. It is also important to drive defensively, meaning you should leave a good amount of space between you and the car in front and also paying very careful attention at junctions and other turnings.
In this age of technology that we live in it is very easy to get distracted talking on the phone, getting caught up in the radio or staring at a sat nav. These devices can lead you to lose focus on the road and lose awareness of the road and the other cars around you. Thus you should switch your phone off or put it on silent mode to take away the risk!
Understand the alternatives and the benefits of not driving
If it is time to stop driving you have to realise that there are fantastic affordable alternatives to get around. Public transport has developed hugely and there are also vast networks of taxis that are ready at the click of a button. There are also benefits to not driving such as saving money on petrol and maintenance, improving health by walking and cycling more, meeting new people by lift sharing or on public transport and just generally slowing down in life giving you more time to appreciate everything.
Driving is such an important part of life and as a result it is very important to stay safe both for your own well-being and that of others. With these few tips hopefully your driving experience can be vastly improved.