Keeping your independence by being Responsible
Older people must recognise that as we age, none of us are as agile as we once were. We must learn to accept help and advice and be prepared to adjust our driving habits to reduce the effect ageing can have on our ability to stay safe while driving.
As people get older, it is unavoidable that general health and fitness, eyesight, hearing, reaction time and physical mobility will begin to decline. Since these changes are often gradual, they may not be obvious to the individual concerned or to members of their immediate family or circle of acquaintance. Older drivers may unknowingly experience physical and psychological health problems, which vary widely from individual to individual.
While many older drivers feel their driving ability has not declined, most do tend to adjust their driving patterns to avoid situations they find difficult, thus reducing their risk of traffic accidents, for example, by avoiding rush hour traffic, night driving and poor weather conditions.
The Think Road Safety Campaign. http://www.dft.gov.uk/think
There are several areas where action is possible to reduce the road accident risk involving older drivers.
- Stay physically fit
- Know your medications
- Understand your limitations
- Manage your health conditions
- Drive under ideal conditions
- Plan ahead to avoid distractions while driving
- Adjust your car to meet your needs
- Keep up to date with the important changes in the Highway Code
Update your driving skills:
Excellent general advice for the older driver plus driver assessments that can help you identify areas where you might need to brush up on your driving skills are available from the Royal Society for the prevention of Accidents.
Responsiveness - Safety Advice for older drivers.
Tips and Advice - Article No 18 - RoadDriver 2010