Senior Driving: How Aging Can Impact Safety on the Road

The Cabana at Jensen Dunes

Assisted Living and Memory Support

According to the Federal Highway Administration, Americans traveled an estimated 286.2 billion miles in May 2018. That’s a lot of people on the roads, and many of them are seniors – making it increasingly important for older adults to stay safe behind the wheel.

Here are some of the changes that impact driving as people age, according to DMV.org:

  • Physical changes. For the safety of themselves and others, drivers must be physically able to maintain control of their vehicles. Watch out for common physical changes like vision impairments, hearing loss, stiff joints, arthritis and inflexibility – all of which can cause a driver to lose control.
  • Mental changes. The aging process can make it harder for people to concentrate and be fully aware of what’s happening around them. Reaction time also slows, which impacts how drivers handle quick, dangerous situations. Do your loved ones know exactly where they are going? Do they still know the meaning of traffic signs? These are all questions that should be addressed prior to a senior hitting the road.
  • Medical conditions. There are numerous medical conditions (and side effects of certain medications) that can make driving not only risky for seniors, but potentially life-threatening. Seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can become easily confused and unable to get from point A to point B without getting lost. Seniors who have Parkinson’s or have had a stroke may have difficulty holding the steering wheel and controlling their bodies.

If you or a loved one are experiencing these changes, consider taking steps to stay safe on the road. Join us at The Cabana for our AARP Driving Class on Wednesday, August 29. Give us a call at 772-332-1000 to RSVP … and stay safe out there!