Unless you live in the Big Apple or a big city, where public transportation is easily accessible, you might find yourself extremely dependant on your car to get you around places. Driving starts to be viewed as a right and is seen as a sign of independence and freedom rather than just a way to get around.
This perspective usually doesn’t pose as an issue until a person grows older and becomes a danger to the road, but is unwilling to stop driving because they feel that if they stop driving they are trapped and dependant.
But I believe that once seniors understand the risks of driving when they shouldn’t, and the options and opportunities that appear once they stop driving, they will be safer and the roads will be safer.
Understanding the affects aging has on driving is important to know. First thing to know is that everybody ages differently; therefore, don’t srart comparing yourself to your friend Sally who is 8 years older than you and whose eyes are in perfect condition. Only look at yourself.
As we age, our reflexes get slower, our eyesight slowly diminishes and our hearing becomes impaired. It might become more challenging to see the sign ahead of you or to change lanes. You might start seeing that you are having more “close calls,” or instances when you almost got into a car crash. These are all red flags that may be telling you to speak to a doctor, or to a family member or social worker about potentially ceasing driving.
Also, there are benefits to not driving! Owning a car is a major expense. When you add up the insurance, gas, and maintenance of owning a car is gets pretty pricey. Also, without a car it means more walking, which means better health! When you start to think about life without a car and view it in a positive light, you will find numerous benefits to that kind of lifestyle; plus it will keep you and others safe!
Remember that safety comes first. Your safety, other drivers safety and pedestrians safety. It might be hard, but it is important to take a good look in the mirror and really contemplate if driving is the best option for you. For more information about senior driving go to http://www.nhtsa.gov/Senior-Drivers.