September 17, 2018 | Blog, Health and Aging, Lifestyle
3 Components to Driving Safely, Warning Signs and How to Keep Fit for Driving
- 84% of Seniors 65+ have their driver’s license
- Seniors 65+ make up 16% of the population, but they are 17% of all fatalities
- 77% of car crashes involving seniors happen in the afternoon
- Men over 70 will experience 6 years of no driving on the average
- Women over 70 will experience 10 years of no driving on the average
- If a Senior finds themselves unable to drive it can cause social isolation, depression and a variety of health issues.
There Are 3 Major Components to Be Able to Drive Safely
If vision is lost due to macular degeneration or other medical reasons – a decrease in vision could affect and impede how you view your surroundings.
If mentality is lost with decreased short term memory it could cause confusion, slow reaction times, divide your attention, or cause you to not identify a hazard – whether it be a traffic accident, or road condition.
*Note: If someone has dementia it does not mean that they cannot drive; patients go back each year for an evaluation. For more information please contact Transportation Solutions.
Impaired movement whether from arthritis, stroke or Parkinson’s disease, etc…can make it difficult operating a vehicle. For example not being able to: stop suddenly, grip the steering wheel, or work the windshield wipers or turn signals.
Warning Signs to Look For
- Getting lost or confused
- Not recognizing traffic signs, signals, or hazards on the road
- Slow decision making and reaction time
- Getting into accidents or fender benders
- Drivers honking at you
- Need help or instructions from passengers
- Driving too slow or too fast
If you notice any signs of these above, you or your loved one need a driving evaluation to determine any safety issues.
Who Determines Who Needs a Driving Evaluation?
“In accordance with Section 1518(b) of the Pennsylvania Vehicle code, all physicians and other personal authorized to diagnose or treat disorders or disabilities MUST report to PennDOT any patient 15 years of age or older, who has been diagnosed as having a condition that could impair his ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.”
What Do Driving Evaluations Entail?
Transportation Solutions provides comprehensive driving evaluations for individuals facing physical and cognitive challenges. During the evaluation their occupational therapists and certified driving rehab specialist on staff conducts the following tests: vision, reaction time, motor-free visual perception test, and assess each individual in a behind-the-wheel environment.
For more information please visit: Transportation Solutions Driving Evaluation General Information
Tips on How to Keep Fit for Driving
- Bouncing a ball whether with a partner or against a wall – how many times can you go back and forth within 10 seconds, can you keep improving that number?
- Timed Word Searches, puzzles and mind games – Stimulate the mind
- Changing your route – So your brain doesn’t get lazy
- Play books on tape while driving to stay engaged
Mobility Within the Community – What Are My Options?
- Local Public Transportation
- Taxi Services
- Wesbury at Home – Companions can transport in their vehicles to doctor appointments, to go shopping, to the senior center, etc.
- Schedule transportation with family or friends
- If needing to purchase groceries and live locally in Meadville – Valesky’s delivers to your home
- Use the internet for online resources for shopping
Tip: List 5 places you go on a regular basis and then figure out how you would get there if you couldn’t drive.
Tip: Try the Bus, Subway, Train system, Taxi, or Uber services now while you are healthy so you will know what to expect when you may need to utilize them.
Resources to Check Out Online
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
National High Traffic Safety Administration: Older Drivers
Blog post information provided by Brenda Bennett, President of Transportation Solutions and Certified Driving Rehab Specialist. If you or someone you know has questions regarding driving or Transportation Solutions, please contact Brenda Bennett, CDI, CDRS – President of Transportation Solutions at (814) 833-2301, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their site: www.drivingneeds.com.
* Transportation Solutions can provide – driving lessons, act as a DMV, give driving evaluations, and provide driver rehabilitation services.