Staying safe behind the wheel no matter your age

Posted by Ben Davidson about 6 months ago

Driving continues to be the most popular means of transport in Canada, with over half of Canadians intending to drive beyond the age of 80. Driving deteriorates with age, and nearly 90% of seniors have a chronic condition which makes them more vulnerable to issues on the road. With this in mind, it is worth taking certain steps as a senior to ensure you are as safe as possible behind the wheel. For example, you might consider updating your car with more modern safety features and lower insurance costs. Alongside this, there are physical and cognitive aspects worth being mindful of.

Prepare well for long or unfamiliar journeys

When planning for journeys to unfamiliar places, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the Highway Code specific to that area and allowing for breaks in your journey. It is vital that your tyre pressure is correct, and that your car is up to date with its servicing. When it comes to hiring a car in a different state or abroad, scope out the different types of vehicles available to you and be sure to obtain appropriate cover for your age bracket. Seniors, as well as teenage and newly qualified drivers, often pay a premium for insurance.

Seek professional advice

Given the natural physical and cognitive changes that occur as we age, it is worth considering getting yourself assessed by an occupational therapist regarding your safety as a driver. This includes eyesight, mobility, reflexes and concentration levels. The occupational therapist can also make recommendations on any adjustments inside your car to make you and your passengers safer, as well as giving you any technical tips on things that might have changed since you took your test. You may also want to take a refresher course in driving. Not only will this keep you feeling reassured behind the wheel but, alongside a strong medical record, it may also work in your favour when it comes to keeping your insurance costs affordable.

Key points for staying safe

It can be easy to become complacent as drivers, particularly when we have been driving for a long time. However, do your bit by keeping yourself and others on the road safe as you age. This includes getting regular eye tests, taking breaks when need be and taking your car in for a service regularly. Small, sensible steps can make all the difference to keeping you and your loved ones safe.

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