Older drivers, according to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), have fewer accidents overall than other age groups. This also applies to injuries, which are generally less common but also far more serious.
Still, experts say there is a natural loss in some abilities that are necessary for safe driving as we become older. Our capacity to absorb information, recall details, and make decisions in traffic scenarios like judging the appropriate distance and incoming traffic’s approach gradually declines starting at about age 55.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that Age alone should never be used to determine your capacity to drive. Changes in vision, physical condition, and reflexes, however, could raise safety issues. You can modify your driving habits to stay safe on the road or pick alternative modes of transportation by precisely identifying age-related changes.
Older Drivers and Safe Driving
The NHTSA recommends that elderly drivers should periopdically take a Self Assessment. An assessment of your ability to drive safely should include capabilities like vision and reaction time. A vision assessment would review for signs of decreased vision quality such as trouble reading traffic or street signs, or difficulty identifying a familiar face across the street. Pay particular attention to the ability to see pavement markings at dawn, dusk, and night, or whether you have difficulty seeing curbs, medians, other cars, and pedestrians.
Experts recommend routine eye exams and keeping prescriptions up to date if you wear glasses. Older drivers should maintain clean windshields, mirrors, and headlights, and make sure your car’s inspection includes a check of your headlight aim. A automobile with larger dials and readable symbols is the best option. On the instrument panel, increase the brightness.
Tips for Older Drivers
While driving, you must be able to divide your attention between several tasks and respond swiftly to events that frequently come unexpectedly.
Be mindful of reaction times. Every driver has the challenge of maintaining attention on many things at once. Careful allocation of attention can be challenging for older drivers. There are so many signs, signals, road markings, vehicles, and pedestrians that it can be overwhelming. Many seniors are on multiple prescription drugs that can cause brain fog an reduce reaction times.
Experts say it’s best to plan your route ahead of time and try to drive in areas where you are familiar with the traffic flow and road conditions. Avoid the peak hours and drive during the day. Look for alternate, less-crowded routes. It’s also important to keep a safe distance in front of the car in front of you.
If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, consult an Orlando car accident attorney. Call 866-730-1881 for a free consultation with a top attorney at the Martinez Manglardi person injury law firm.