Written by Neil Graddon – May 13, 2015 What Do You Have To Know
As we age our acuity diminishes and because of this we lose our ability to make quick decisions.
If you have driven on a street where you may have a senior in close proximity in their car you will notice a few things;
- they tend to drive slower or less than the speed limit
- they make sudden moves without notice
- they will actually stop at green lights
- they hesitate to make a decision when changing lanes
- they are not keenly aware of their surroundings
Driving slower is a tendency when they are afraid. They see the people around them as the problem and not they. Everyone else is speeding and they are the perfect driver. This is a result of the loss of acuity. There eyes are not as clear as when they were younger so their depth perception is hampered. Thus, they slow down to compensate.
Making sudden moves without notice is caused by a simple unawareness of their surroundings. Most often than not they do not follow the driving protocols of checking mirrors and looking at the blind spot. So they instead veer toward where they want to be at the sake of the other drivers on the road.
Stopping at green lights may sound silly but it is prevalent with seniors who because of failing eyesight cannot distinguish what color the light really it. So rather than be sorry they play it safe and stop to make sure. Of course the result can be catastrophic as the drivers trailing them are not paying attention to the senior slowing and stopping and will cause a rear end accident.
Hesitation is symptomatic of not making decisions rapidly. Being unsure leads the senior to hesitate before actually executing a maneuver and very often this causes other drivers to react in kind and cut off the senior as they become impatient.
Overall, seniors when driving are not keenly aware of what is going on around them. Their focus is often straight ahead and they do not check what is going on around them. This often leads to poor decisions or irrational decisions that put themselves and others at risk
What can be done?
- Check out your health. Are you capable of handling driving safely.
- Make sure you have the right car for your size and driving ability – sounds obvious!
- Be aware and drive defensively – consider yours and everyone else’s safety.
- Know your limitations -change routes if you find driving in traffic agitates you.
- Listen to what others are telling you – it is for your own safety
- Re-train yourself in the rules of the road. As we get older we do forget.
- Try to have someone in the car with you – they can help keep you focused.
- Avoid impatient drivers, get out of their way. Save yourself the aggravation.
As seniors we do not want to admit our limitations. We still think we are 20 years old and that everyone else around us is demeaning us for our age. Well guess what. We are older and we are not able to do the things we could do when we were 20. Come to grips with that and you will find that you will be happier and you will guide yourself to do things representative of your age.
And please do DRIVE CAREFULLY
Feel free to comment on this post. I am sure it will instill some emotion in many. Share your thoughts or stories below.