This week is Older Driver Awareness Week, where senior citizens and their families are encouraged to be more aware of mobility and transportation issues affecting drivers as they age. Part of an ongoing program by The American Occupational Therapy Association, the week is promoting awareness of a different aspect that affects older drivers for each day, from Dec. 7-11.
The primary goal of the program is to promote a healthy, active and engaged lifestyle for senior citizens. Many elderly people may lose the ability to drive as they suffer age-related illnesses. This often results in isolation, depression and a loss of independence.
Simple every day activities like shopping, going to the park or volunteering become difficult without easy access to a vehicle. The elderly do have ways to get around this. With support from friends and family, and use of community resources such as volunteer rideshare programs, seniors can remain active and engaged in their communities.
Preparing for Changes That Affect Driving
As people age, they may have physical and cognitive changes that impact their ability to safely or comfortably operate a motor vehicle. To avoid putting yourself in unnecessary risk, it’s best to prepare ahead and anticipate changes that might impact your transportation options.
Here are some things older drivers can do to keep safe:
- Get screened for health issues – Along with an annual doctor’s visit, you should get screened for any health issues that could reduce your driving capability. Vision problems are an obvious culprit, but diseases such as diabetes that may make you unexpectedly drowsy can be a problem too. For those suffering from joint or muscle pain, there are devices and accessories available that can help with movement in and out of your vehicle.
- Take a defensive driving course – Not only can this help reduce your insurance costs, but it’s good to keep up to date on the latest safety features. Most people don’t take driving courses after they first get their license when they are teenagers. Just having a refresher will help you avoid dangerous driving situations.
- Talk with your family – Speak to your loved ones and close friends about the potential changes you might be going through. Asking how you might get to church or the grocery store if you ever had to quit driving is easier when you have people who care about you.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto collision, the experienced car accident lawyers at Simien & Simien can help get you the compensation you deserve. Contact a personal injury lawyer in Baton Rouge today for a free consultation.