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Safety tips for aging drivers

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As you age, your driving abilities may change. Not only do you become a more experienced and thoughtful driver, but your health conditions may also impact your safety. You may start to notice changes relating to your vision, hearing, motor functions and medications. 

But just because you are getting older does not necessarily mean you need to get off the road. You may simply need to adjust some of your driving habits. Here are some guidelines for ensuring your safety as you age.

Get consistent vision and hearing checks

Your eyesight is likely getting worse as you age. This is normal with macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. Schedule consistent vision tests to keep track of any of these issues. An eye doctor may make certain recommendations, such as a new glasses prescription, contacts or directions to only drive during daylight hours. 

Hearing also tends to decline with age. Partake in regular hearing tests to make sure you can adequately hear sounds around you. You may eventually need a hearing aid to be as safe as possible. 

Monitor your health conditions and medications

Age often comes with a variety of health issues, whether acute or chronic. Certain conditions, such as seizures or diabetes, may impact your driving. Consult with your doctor about how to drive safely with these conditions, which may involve limiting your driving or adjusting your treatment plan. 

Medications may also affect your ability to drive. Common drugs that may negatively impact your driving include:

  • Pain medications
  • Sleeping pills
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Antihistamines

Read the labels on your medication, consult with your doctor and ask questions of your pharmacist to learn about any potentially harmful side effects.

Drive defensively

Do not be a passive driver. Be as alert as possible by putting away distractions, allowing sufficient braking distance and leaving enough space between your car and others. Paying extra attention will help you avoid accidents.

If you are injured in a car accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to learn about your legal options.

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