The moment you turn 16, the first thing on your mind is getting your driver’s license. Having the independence and freedom to go when and where you want is absolutely liberating! However, as the years pass the novelty begins to wear off, our bodies begin to age and our driving abilities begin to change. With a growing population of baby boomers, officials are bracing for a surge in senior drivers. Statistics tell us that accidents increase after the age of 65, and fatal accidents are more likely after the age of 75. By incorporating safe driving practices, you can continue to drive safely into your senior years.
For many of us, independence is one of the many keys to our happiness. However, as we age you may experience concern from family members that living independently is unsafe for your health. What if you fall? What if someone breaks in? What if there is a fire? These are valid concerns that can be addressed with two simple words: Life Alert. As a Life Alert subscriber, you will receive 24/7 emergency attention at the push of a button. All you are required to do is to wear the weightless, waterproof emergency button on your wrist or as a pendant, and simply push the button when faced with a life threatening emergency. With Life Alert, you can maintain your independence and your family can get the peace of mind they have been searching for.
But what if you’re not at home, but on the road? You’re not worried about safety because you have been driving for many years and you take immense pride in your safety record. However, as you age, it is critical that you realize your driving abilities can change. To continue driving and driving safely, you need to, first, recognize that changes can happen; and second, follow these tips from helpguide.org .
1. Take charge of your health: Getting regular check-ups are extremely important to keep you in the best possible shape for driving. Make sure you have your eyes and hearing tested annually and be sure you are getting enough sleep so you can remain alert while driving.
2. Know your limitations: If you ever feel uncomfortable driving, then don’t do it. Many seniors make the voluntary choice to change their driving habits. Maybe you feel more comfortable only driving in daylight hours or maybe you are making the conscious decision not to drive in poor weather conditions. These types of proactive changes can help to keep you and other drivers on the road, safe.
3. Listen to others: If your family and/or friends are voicing concerns about you driving, hear them out. It is their job, to some extent, as family, to keep you safe. By voicing their concerns they are opening the door to a discussion that you should try to prioritize. As a united front, you may all be able to formulate a plan that will make you all happy and keep you safe!
In order to continue living independently it is important that you continue to make positive choices for yourself. It is usually at the time that we begin ignoring warning signs or making poor decisions that family and/or friends feel the need to step in. Be proactive and make decisions about driving that you know will keep you safer which, in turn, will allow you to stay independent longer.
The addition of having Life Alert with you while on the go is one of the smartest decisions you can ever make. Life Alert handles over two million calls a year and on average saves a life from a potential catastrophe every 10 minutes! With their mobile HELP phone, all you have to do is push the large, red, button and emergency attention will be sent to you fast, 24/7! So buckle up with Life Alert because you have one wild ride to keep on living! Call 1-800-513-2934 for a free brochure!
1. Neighmond, Patti. “When Should Seniors Hang Up The Car Keys?” NPR. 8 October 2012. <http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/10/08/162392507/when-should-seniors-hang-up-the-car-keys>.
2. “Age and Driving: Safety Tips and Warning Signs for Older Drivers.” Helpguide.org. <http://www.helpguide.org/articles/aging-well/age-and-driving-safety-tips.htm >.