Driving is one of the key ways that people really feel independent. Driving allows us a sense of freedom, and for many driving is a pleasurable experience. For these reasons, it’s easy to see why older people wouldn’t want to give up driving.
Statistics show that older drives are relatively safe, but it’s important to brush up on some small tips that can help you continue to navigate the roads safely in your old age.
Know your limits
Make sure that you always feel confident before getting behind the wheel of a car.
A great example is driving at night. This can become a lot more daunting as we get older, especially if you have problems seeing well at night.
Some conditions, such as rain, snow, or ice, can really make driving dangerous – both because of the physical conditions, but also reducing your own confidence while driving. If you don’t feel confident, look at other ways to get around.
Let the car do the work
Modern cars come with all sorts of new technology that’s designed to help you make the most of driving.
Technology like parking sensors – or even automatic parking – can really help you maintain the independence of driving, whilst taking away the difficulty of some aspects of driving.
If you’re thinking about investing in a new car, look into parking sensors, power steering, automatic transmission, and power brakes.
Get an MOT for your health
Make sure you look after your own health. Regular check-ups are the best way to help keep you in the best shape for driving.
You should also be making sure you get your eyes checked every year, for obvious reasons. The same goes for your hearing. If you already require hearing aids, ensure that you are wearing them when you drive.
While you’re at the doctor, be sure to ask how any medication that you might be taking could potentially affect your ability to drive. For example, if you have glaucoma, tinted glasses can really help reduce glare while driving.
Don’t forget to renew
Once you hit 70, your licence entitlement will expire. Don’t worry though – this doesn’t mean you have to stop driving. Instead, you’ll just need to reapply for a driving license every 3 years.
Simply head down to your local DVLA centre, or apply for a renewal form and renew. It’s free of charge and there’s no tests – but you do have to make a medical declaration so ensure you have your medical records to hand.
Listen to those around you
Remember that eventually, there will be a time that you have to give up the keys to your car. It’s important to listen to those around you, friends and loved ones, who might try and talk to you about driving.
Adjusting to this change can take time, but there are still plenty of ways to get around – and your health and safety should be the number one priority.
Did we miss any tips or tricks that helped you continue to drive as you got older? Let us know over on Twitter.