Driving at an older age can be proof that you are capable of maintaining a good physical and psychological condition. However, there are certain limitations.
Any physician can confirm that it’s important to keep active as you get older. Doing the same chores and activities you did when younger can prolong your well-being and good health. It’s not uncommon to see seniors in enviable shape who run errands, do sports, attend social gatherings and enjoy life’s routines to the max, with driving being one of them.
However exciting and encouraging it is to have the freedom to take yourself places, even when you reach an age when other people prefer to stay put, there are still some shortcomings that can affect you. Whether we admit it or not driving as a senior is not the same as driving at a younger age, and precaution is necessary.
Fortunately, there are numerous gadgets that can make driving for seniors safer and easier. From parking sensors, to backup or front cameras to a rearview mirror camera monitor, here’s what you can do to ensure you're safe on the road at any age.
You feel the change as you get old and your body changes in what it can and cannot do anymore. While driving doesn’t require much movement or mobility, it calls for good eyesight, sharp hearing, and immediate reactions.
Yes, driving yourself around seems like an effortless endeavor but not being able to properly see, hear or act is much more of a challenge for senior drivers than the physical activity of driving itself. Here are the three main risks you face as a senior behind the wheel:
- Impaired vision: age affects the eyes and older people can have a harder time seeing road signs or sudden changes in traffic, while medical conditions like glaucoma and cataracts render driving difficult.
- Impaired hearing: sounds in traffic, from sirens to standard car noises, can also become harder to distinguish as you get older.
- Impaired reflexes: if your sight and hearing are not sharp enough, a delay in reactions is consequently expected. Also, the nervous system responses take longer at a higher age.
With poorer vision, less muscle flexibility and a slower reaction time, it’s highly advised to adjust your driving style as you get older. Most seniors find that reducing speed and following at a safe distance allow them to adapt better to changes in traffic, buying them precious spare seconds to maneuver.
Also, certain additions to the vehicle they are driving can guarantee better safety. After retirement you have limited disposable income, so buying a brand new car to get new safety features isn't always an option. Aftermarket safety products can be easily installed on the car you already own, making driving easier and safer.
Cameras added to the front, side and rear of your car, give you visibility into your blind spots, that mirrors and turning don't offer. Additionally sensors add an audible alert so you can avoid hitting objects or pedestrians. Side cameras can be triggered by your turn signals, simplifying changing lanes.
What’s even more effective is the rearview mirror camera monitor, which replaces the traditional mirror with a monitoring system that receives precise information about your car’s surroundings. In addition to checking left and right side mirrors and the classic rearview mirror, you get to look into one central place that displays not only the mirror image, but also a view of your vehicle's safety cameras.
If you decide to install safety products on your car, make sure you buy them from a reputable seller. Check our list of authorized dealers and get in touch if you need more information on these car safety features.