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We have been driving most of our lives and while we may have a spotless record, as we age, our physical strength, coordination and reaction times are changing and our mental abilities can become impaired. All of these aging signs affect our driving skills. In order to maintain that excellent driving record, follow these tips to keep you and others drivers safe.

1. Before leaving home, familiarize yourself with the route you’ll be taking. GPS systems may be helpful during the trip, or pull off to the side of the road to consult a map.

2. Plan your trips to avoid driving during periods of heavy traffic such as morning commutes, evening commutes and lunch hours.

3. Pay close attention to road signs, pedestrians and other traffic. Limit distractions in the car such as music, conversation and other non-driving activities.

4. Maintain a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you.  During good weather, increase the typical “three-second rule” to five seconds and during inclement weather, triple to nine seconds or more depending on conditions.  

5. Keep your car in good condition by frequently checking and replacing the windshield wiper blades, making sure that the headlights, brake and turn-signal lights are in proper working order.

6. Always wear your seat belt, even for short distances.

7. Never use your cell phone while driving. Pull off the road, into a parking lot or rest stop if you need to make or answer a call.

8. Have regular and frequent vision and hearing tests and have proper eyewear and hearing aids if needed and do not attempt to drive without them.

9. Consider taking a defensive driving course. Many are offered through senior citizen organizations or insurance carriers. Some insurance companies offer discounts on insurance policies to drivers who take these courses.

10. Make sure that driving is still safe with whatever medications you are taking. You may want to consult your doctor to discuss possible side-effects that may impair your driving skills.

Lastly, when your family or friends express concern over your ability to drive, listen to their concerns and don’t get defensive. Even though if may be difficult to do, responsible drivers accept when the time comes to restrict or end driving. Watch and listen for warning signs on your own. When driving has become increasing stressful or difficult, it might be time to hang up the keys.

For caretakers, watch for signs of unacceptable driving behavior in aging relatives such as forgetting basic road rules, increased anxiety on the roads, slow reaction times, and confusion while driving. If your loved one is showing any of these signs, it might be time to speak to their doctor, drastically decrease their driving times, or eliminate access to vehicles.

By Matt Reynolds - Google+
Posted 1:51 PM

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Claude Reynolds Insurance Agency Inc.
6801 Dixie Hwy Suite 232
Louisville, KY 40258
Phone: 502-933-2255
Fax: 502-933-5057
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Claude Reynolds Insurance Agency Inc. | 6801 Dixie Hwy Suite 232, Louisville, KY 40258 | 502-933-2255
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