DRIVING SAFETY TIPS
As we age, our ability to see moving objects deteriorates, while our peripheral vision worsens and our reaction time becomes slower. This, along with age-related eye conditions such as macular degeneration, makes driving more challenging for adults age 60 and older. Here, King LASIK offers senior drivers these basic driving tips to stay safe on the road.
Tip #1: Avoid Distracted Driving
Older drivers especially are slower to react in case of an emergency, and using a cell phone or other forms of distracted driving can increase the risk of an accident. In fact, a recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that cell phones decreased driving reaction time and performance among older drivers more than younger drivers. Practice safe driving by limiting distractions such as texting, conversations with others and listening to loud music.
Tip #2: Use Extra Caution at Intersections
A 2007 study found 40 percent of all deadly collisions involving elderly drivers occurred at intersections, and the most common reason was failure to yield. Be sure to obey all traffic lights and stop signs. Proceed with caution if you have the right of way, keeping an eye out for bicyclists and pedestrians. If you do not have the right of way, stop or slow down until it’s safe to cross the intersection. Give yourself an adequate amount of space between your car and the one in front of you to brake safely if necessary.
Tip #3: Avoid Driving on Unfamiliar Streets
Driving on unfamiliar streets may mean coming across areas where you do not know the rules of the road or are unaware of traffic conditions. Try to limit trips to those close to your home. If you are planning on driving to a new, unfamiliar place, plan your route before you leave to find the safest route and avoid getting lost. Try to avoid streets with poor lighting, irregular twists and poor signage.
Tip #4: Reduce Your Speed at Night
According to the National Safety Council, traffic death rates are three times higher at night than during the day. Age-related changes in vision and hearing put elderly drivers at higher risk of car accidents at night. As we age, the eyes’ pupils get smaller and take a longer time to dilate in the dark, making it hard to see. If you drive at night, reduce your speed to give your eyes more time to adjust in the dark and see everything around you.
Tip #5: Get an Eye Exam with King LASIK
Having an annual eye exam is key for safe driving at any age. If you are age 60 or older, it’s recommended you have your eyes checked every year. A highly-trained vision expert at King LASIK can screen your eyes for age-related conditions and make sure your eye glasses prescription is up to date. A member of our team will also gladly make recommendations to increase your safety on the road. Schedule a one-on-one appointment today by calling (877) 551-2020.