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Tips for Older Drivers

The following tips will help you put safety first and keep you in the driver’s seat.

For your car:

  • Drive a car that meets your needs. For example, the car should have automatic transmission, power steering and power brakes. Visiting an occupational therapist can provide you with aids to remove any limitations on mobility that you might have.

  • Keep your car in peak operating condition.

Tips for the road:

  • Drive only during daylight hours if you have issues with seeing clearly in the dark.

  • Stay off highways or freeways if fast traffic makes you uncomfortable.

  • Avoid driving in bad weather.

  • Plan a route before you leave to give yourself more confidence and to avoid getting lost.

  • Focus on the road.

  • Don’t follow too closely; use the three-second rule.

  • If in doubt, yield the right of way at an intersection. Many senior citizens’ accidents happen because the senior has not yielded properly.

  • Be careful of left turns.

  • Be considerate of others if you drive slowly.

Tips for overall safety:

  • Enroll in a driver-safety course for people over 50. The Minnesota Senior Federation offers these courses.

  • See your healthcare provider regularly to have checks regularly for vision, hearing and general health. Make sure to talk about medications you take and the effect they might have on driving.

  • Maintain mental and physical fitness.

For more complete information on this list, visit www.helpguide.org/elder/senior_driving_safety_tips.htm

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