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Seniors are Safe Drivers: Facts & Research

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senior drivingSenior driving can turn out to be a controversial topic. While it’s true that motor skills, sight, and hearing naturally lessen with age, it doesn’t mean that seniors aren’t capable of driving safely.

In fact, a lot of research has been conducted about senior driving and, as it turns out, seniors drive better than other age groups (mainly teens) because they usually have a lot of years of experience and they respect traffic signs as well as speed limits.

However, we can’t pretend that our bodies don’t change as we age. Research has also shown that senior drivers are frequently injured and harmed in car crashes, basically, because their bodies are more vulnerable. It has been reported that in 2009,  more than 60% of deaths related to traffic accidents involved senior citizens over the age of 70.

We can’t possible see those numbers without wondering what we can do to improve senior driving, and, as a result of this, increase seniors’ chances of independent living.

The reason why seniors are safe drivers is because age isn’t the real concern when it comes to driving – it’s health.

There are a lot of health conditions that increase the risks of driving. Some examples are arthritis, insomnia, and muscle pains. Plus, medication’s side effects can seriously affect one’s driving skills.   

The natural decline of our senses like sight and hearing can impact our driving too. If you or a loved one has issues with this, take them into consideration before driving. Simple changes like avoiding driving when it’s dark or during rush hours go a long way.

As long as the driver is healthy and prepared to follow the rules of the road, he or she will be able to drive.

It’s not always easy to see ourselves changing though. But driving safely regardless of our age should be a priority.

Make an effort and asses your driving skills constantly (or suggest that a loved one does the same). You can do this by searching for driving tests online or –even better– by paying attention to the warning signs. If you’ve gotten traffic tickets recently, felt disoriented, or have had other trouble behind the wheel, don’t be afraid to confront your skills and ask a trusted family member or friend if they too have seen changes in your driving. Don’t let your ego win over your own life and other people’s safety.

Seniors are safe drivers when they’re aware of their skills and make the best out of them.

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