Taking care of senior drivers

Taking care of senior drivers

We know that this is an emotive subject, and one that has to be handled with care. But for many families, as some members enter their senior years, it can be easy to see them as they were in their prime, rather than spot some difficulties they may be having now.

This is certainly true when driving

As a sign of independence, many older people cling to their cars, and understandably so. However, if this is you, or if a loved one falls into this category, here are some questions it is worth considering.

• Does this person seem more nervous or uncomfortable behind the wheel than they were?

• Do they seem to respond slightly more slowly to traffic situations than they used to?

• Is this person having more difficulty recognising or reading traffic signals?

• Are they leaving less distance between themselves and vehicles in front; is there more of a need for ‘last-minute braking’?

• Have you noticed tiny dents or scrapes appearing on the bodywork of their car?

• Do they tend to veer out of their lane under multi-lane road conditions?

• Do they often seem to get lost when driving to or in unfamiliar areas?

• Have they considered any new medications being taken and the effect this might have on vision, concentration and the like?

It’s not just seniors!

Interestingly, apart from the final question, the others might also be pertinent for young, inexperienced drivers too! It’s equally true that any driver could consider these areas in terms of any bad habits they might have fallen into.

These tips can help identify any problems which can then be highlighted and carefully discussed.

Accidents happen no matter what

Irrespective of age, ability and experience, it’s still possible to be an innocent victim of a not your fault accident. If you are, and your car is sadly about to become familiar with the inside of a repair shop, then under Australian Law you are entitled to a replacement courtesy car.

If this happens to you, call Not my Fault on 1800 699 034 as soon as possible after your unfortunate accident.

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