Senior citizens are so important to our communities and identity as a culture. They have contributed and shaped our nation as it stands today. From world wars to inventions, modern society has emerged from the blood and sweat of the hardworking generations before us.
But as you get older, things become more difficult physically and mentally. Some people feel age is just a number, and that’s exactly what it is, so who’s to tell when you’re too old to do something? Without a true definition or specific age that identifies a senior citizen, how do we really know when it’s time for them to hang up the keys and find alternate ways of transportation?
Every state has differing rules that determine licensing and license re-issuing through a senior driving test. Some follow the renewal period of four years, regardless of age, while others have more strict rules governing how older adults acquire driving privileges. A number of states follow a general rule until an age limit is met, where those who have reached that age must pass further evaluations that ensure they are safe to be on the road. To know what your state’s laws are, visit http://seniordriving.aaa.com/states/ and click on your state!
If you or a relative is getting to the point where driving is less confident, it’s time to truly assess if driving is the best option. Here are four key warning signs to analyze when finding out if you still should be sitting behind the wheel:
- Vision – If sight is becoming an issue during darkened hours or poor weather driving, it may be time to stop driving or at least driving during daylight hours during clear-weather days.
- Hearing – Hearing loss is another sign that it could be unsafe to operate a motor vehicle. It may not be the first thing you think of when you think of safe driving, but hearing is important to recognize situations all around you.
- Physical Ability – With age comes injuries. And if range of motion is lessened, so it reaction time. Whether or not one’s mind is capable, driving is just as much physical as it is mental.
- Medication – Taking multiple medications could result in side effects that make driving less safe for everyone on the road. Knowing your medications is vital toward understanding your driving capabilities.
If you or a relative are reaching a time where driving is becoming more difficult, it may be time to measure your limitations. AAA is dedicated to helping senior citizens drive safer and longer. AAA’s dedication extends to a program called Drivers 65 Plus, which features a self-assessment of your driving performance. From this short set of question and answer, you will get a score that lists objectively your strengths and weaknesses as a senior driver.
For those drivers that are aging, but still feel they have something left in the tank, AAA offers courses that help senior citizens refine their skills to keep them on the road longer. Not to mention, many states offer discounts on insurance if these courses are completed. The courses cover the following topics and more:
- Distractions, Drowsiness, Aggressive Driving & Road Rage
- Managing Visibility, Time & Space
- Alcohol & Medications
Senior citizens have every right to continue their independence so long as it’s safe for them and the rest of the drivers around them. Assessing capabilities is vital toward keeping safe streets for everyone. If you are a senior citizen or know someone that is nearing the end of a driving career, please take all precautions necessary to ensure your ability to drive safely.
Let RightTurn Help!
We understand that upkeep of your vehicle gets more difficult as you get older. So let RightTurn give you a hand! Since you’re still a driver, and a great driver at that, save time and money by purchasing online from RightTurn.com. With a user-friendly interface and in just four easy steps, we’ll help you select the tires that meet your individual driving needs. RightTurn ships the tires to your nearest installer for free and you pay an all-in-one price. There are no hidden fees, making it a cinch getting back on the road without any fuss!