Today, we will talk about helping Florida seniors drive safely. We will highlight a few things you can do to ensure safer roads for everyone.
Start A Discussion
Sometimes, it is best to start things off with a simple discussion. Instead of telling your older family members what they can and cannot do, initiate a conversation with them about driving and let them know what you have noticed. Keep your opinion out of the conversation and instead lead with facts.
For example, if they have been involved in a few accidents or fender benders lately, this might be enough to open their eyes. Stay calm, present the facts, and work together to come up with a reasonable solution.
If you know a senior who has been having difficulty driving lately, then it may be in their best interest to get a driving assessment done by a qualified professional. An assessment like this can help determine if their driving skills are impaired or their mobility is affecting their driving. There are times when hearing it from a professional is more convincing than hearing it from a loved one.
A professional can evaluate an older driver for different issues. Some examples are:
• Muscle strength
• Range of motion
• Reaction time
• Decision-making skills
• The ability to drive with specialized or adaptive devices
Look For Other Options
Finding alternative transportation may also be a good solution if you have a senior loved one struggling behind the wheel. With this, they will no longer be as dependent on their vehicle, which will make giving up their keys a less stressful experience for them.
Some medications can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and other ill effects that can ultimately interfere with one's driving ability. Seniors need to understand what medication they are taking and how it can ultimately affect their driving. You want to avoid driving when medications can cause slower reaction times, attention issues, and other effects that can lead to unsafe driving.
Learn New Technology
Finally, with so much new technology in vehicles nowadays, seniors must understand how to use it. There are several features in modern cars that can help reduce crashes and make driving less stressful for seniors.
• Forward Collision Warnings - These alert the driver of a potential collision and employ the brakes automatically. They can help improve reaction time and reduce accidents by up to 20%.
• Automatic Crash Notification - This is communication technology that can trigger the airbags or alert emergency services if there has been an accident.
• Parking Assist - This feature often comes with a rearview display, so seniors can see exactly what is behind them as they reverse. It also helps make parking a lot easier.
• Self-Parking Systems - These allow the steering wheel to take over and parallel park the car itself.
• Navigation Assistance - Having a GPS handy can help make older drivers feel more secure and confident because they know where they are going. However, it can also be distracting and sometimes difficult to use.
No matter what features a vehicle has, they will not matter unless an older driver still has the skills and ability to get behind the wheel in the first place. To help avoid accidents, work with your loved ones to find a good solution for everyone.