Your risk of being involved or causing a serious accident increase as you age. Protect your good record and help keep your auto insurance costs low by following these five safe driving tips for seniors.
1. Along with your annual physical, have your vision and hearing checked regularly.
Between doctor visits, be alert for any signs that could signal health or cognition problems. These can include problems with range-of-motion such as the inability to look over your shoulder, confusing the gas and brake pedals, diminished reaction time to changes on the road, difficulty seeing road and directional signs, and feelings of anxiety, anger or confusion while driving. Have you noticed yourself having more close calls lately? These can include increased warnings or citations from traffic cops and banging into or nearly hitting fences and curbs. Another sure sign that your driving skills aren’t what they used to be is when friends and relatives no longer want to be passengers when you’re behind the wheel. None of these things necessarily spell the end of your independence, but they are indications that you need to take proactive steps such as enrolling in a safe driver course for seniors to avoid accidents and incidents that will prevent you from getting the lowest auto insurance quotes.
2. Keep your car in tip-top condition.
Make sure you adhere to a regular maintenance schedule. Keep all the fluids topped off and your gas tank filled. Check your tires for tread wear, proper air pressure and wheel alignment. Replace windshield wiper blades once a year. Clean your headlamps and windows frequently to ensure the best visibility. Consider adding safety aids like rear-view and side-view mirror attachments that extend your range of vision. And always have a fully charged cell phone with you at all times.
3. Observe speed limits.
Going too slow can be just as dangerous as going too fast. If you no longer feel comfortable driving at freeway speeds, find alternate overland routes. On the other hand, don’t get rattled by people who tailgate or speed past you when you are going the speed limit. Do, however, move to the right and yield the left lanes to faster traffic.
4. Your reaction time is not what it used to be.
That means any distraction that takes your eyes or attention off the task of driving can have devastating consequences. Turning your head to talk to a passenger, reaching for a cup of coffee, changing a CD or tuning the radio or just trying to read a street sign can all be just enough distraction to result in an accident.
5. Adjust your driving habits to compensate for potential problems.
Wear your glasses if you’re having trouble reading signs. If you have trouble seeing at night, plan your trips so you aren’t on the road after dark. If making left hand turns frightens you, reroute your trip so you only make right hand turns. Get an onboard GSP-navigating system that will orally navigate for you. If the weather is bad, call a taxi or stay home. The whole idea is to get where you’re going safely. If you have any doubts, don’t go.
Keep in mind those 5 safe driving tips for seniors when you are on the road.