Driver safety tips to help you keep the keys as you get older. (From MayoClinic.com)
Getting older doesn't mean your driving days are numbered. Take control and understand how your body's limitations can affect your driving. Follow these driver safety tips to help you maintain your independence.
Stay physically fit
As you age, your muscles generally become weaker, your joints stiffen and your flexibility decreases. Your reflexes begin to slow as well. The accumulation of these effects makes certain elements of driver safety more difficult. Physical fitness helps counter these changes. Staying physically active improves your strength and flexibility, which may help with such actions as turning the steering wheel and looking over your shoulder.
Consider activities such as walking, riding your bike or playing tennis to help you stay fit and improve your driver safety. Combine these with stretching and strengthening exercises. If you aren't currently active, talk to your doctor about ways to get started.
Know your medications
Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications can cause drowsiness or a slow reaction time, reducing driver safety. As you get older, you become more sensitive to these effects.
Read the labels of your medications so that you know what to expect from each one. Medications that might cause drowsiness include antihistamines, sedatives, drugs that treat depression and diabetes, and strong painkillers. Don't drive if you've taken medications that cause drowsiness. Ask your doctor if another medication that doesn't have this side effect is available.
Have your vision and hearing tested regularly
Your hearing and vision, particularly your night vision, tend to decline as you age. Impaired hearing may impede your ability to hear an approaching emergency vehicle or train. Common vision problems that can interfere with driving include:
· Cataracts. A cataract is a clouding of the lens of your eye. Cataracts cause your vision to become blurred or hazy. Cataracts may also make you more sensitive to light and glare, making it more difficult to drive at night.
· Glaucoma. This group of conditions — characterized by abnormally high pressure inside your eyeball — causes diminished peripheral vision, which makes it more ….To be continued