How Older Drivers Can Increase Their Comfort Levels Behind the Wheel
It’s not uncommon for aging individuals to feel less comfortable driving as they approach their golden years. Whether it’s glare from LED lights, aches and pains that often accompany aging or age-related vision issues, older drivers’ comfort behind the wheel can be compromised by a host of variables.
Though older drivers cannot reverse the aging process, they can try various strategies to make themselves more comfortable behind the wheel.
SHARE DRIVING DUTIES ON LONG TRIPS
The National Institute on Aging notes that stiffening joints and weakened muscles are a common byproduct of aging. In addition, the Arthritis Foundation notes that more than one in two men and two in three women over age 65 have arthritis, which also can make driving less comfortable. Age-related aches and pains and arthritis can make it very uncomfortable to drive for lengthy periods of time when drivers are sitting in roughly the same position for the duration of their trip. In such instances, drivers can share driving duties to make long trips more manageable.
UPGRADE TO A VEHICLE WITH MODERN AMENITIES
Various amenities in modern vehicles make driving more comfortable for everyone, especially individuals with age-related aches and pains. Heated seats and in-car climate control can help reduce the discomfort caused by aches and pains and ensure drivers and passengers can tailor the temperature in the vehicle to their own preferences.
PROTECT YOUR EYESIGHT
Much of the discomfort older drivers experience behind the wheel has to do with eyesight. The NIA urges individuals 65 and older to see their eye doctor every year. Such visits can ensure prescriptions are current, and that can make drivers more confident in their ability to see everything on the road. Drivers also can speak to their eye doctors about night driving glasses, which are designed to help nighttime drivers overcome glare from headlights and street lamps.
DRIVE MORE DEFENSIVELY
A greater emphasis on defensive driving also can help aging drivers feel more comfortable behind the wheel. The NIA notes that reflexes naturally slow down as a person ages, which adversely affects reaction times. Drivers can counter this by leaving more space between their vehicle and the one in front of them. Braking earlier and avoiding driving during times of heavy traffic, such as rush hour, also can help drivers feel more comfortable.
It’s natural for aging drivers to feel less comfortable behind the wheel than they did when they were young. But drivers can take various steps to increase their comfort levels so they can stay on the road.
-Metro Creative Connection