Today’s seniors are not only living longer, they’re driving longer. And that’s good news because studies show personal mobility is important for happiness. Better yet, there are lots of things that seniors can learn to keep driving safely as long as possible.
It’s important to be proactive in assessing our driving habits, and making adjustments when needed, to keep ourselves and others safe on the road. Even after a lifetime of driving experience, physical and mental changes can have an effect on our motoring habits.
Assessing your skills:
In most licensing systems, new drivers write a test and do an in-car driving exam and then never have to worry about another test until they are well into their senior years. It benefits any driver at any age to review their driving habits and make sure they are being a safe driver.
Does your car fit you?
As we age, our physical and mental abilities change, and some of those changes – including vision, hearing and the ability to react quickly – can affect our driving. Making adjustments to the vehicle, such as mirrors and distance from the wheel can help your car work in tandem with you in order to stay safe.
Maintaining your skills:
Laws and technology change over the years, while driving habits become ingrained. New challenges come along too – roundabouts are fairly new to Canada, and we didn’t use to encounter as many cyclists on the road. It benefits any driver, regardless of age, to develop new driving skills periodically. This can be as simple as taking a refresher course. We also all know that at some point in our lives some of us will have to limit or even stop driving on our own. Having a conversation with your family early can make this transition easier.
To learn more, visit www.seniorsdriving.caa.ca where CAA has pulled together resources for seniors. Videos, tips, checklists and advice are provided to help seniors maintain their skills or add a few new ones.