- By 2030, there will be 70 million people over the age of 70 in the United States.
- Approximately 90% of that population will hold a driver’s license.
- 80% of people over 70 suffer from arthritis, which can make driving much more difficult.
As we age, we are more at risk of injury in a car accident. This is due to a combination of factors: Declining mobility, medical conditions and the need for medication all make driving more challenging as we enter our 60s and 70s. While driving can be more challenging for senior Americans, it isn’t impossible and it doesn’t have to be unsafe.
As car accident lawyers in Miami, we have seen the devastating aftermath of vehicle collisions. If you are a winter visitor who will soon be driving through Florida, there are some tips to follow that can help make your driving experience a better and safer one. Reduce your risk of injury by following these suggestions.
1. Stay Fit
The more physically active you are, the better your strength and flexibility. When your joints are well lubricated and your muscles strong, it makes it easier to complete many of the tasks required of a driver. You will be better able to look over your shoulder, turn the steering wheel and make other necessary movements.
Try to include physical activity into your daily routine. Perhaps you can go for a walk around the block when you wake up in the morning. Maybe your city or county has a Yoga program at a local park or beach. If you can get up and get moving, you’ll be doing your body and health a favor.
2. Have Vision and Hearing Tested
Our vision begins to change in our early to mid 40s. You may have noticed this already if you are of a certain age. Reading small print becomes difficult, seeing clearly at night is hard and focusing from near to far or far to near doesn’t happen as quickly.
These normal age-related changes only tend to increase with our age. Add other common vision problems like macular degeneration and cataracts, and it’s easy to understand how our declining vision may negatively impact our driving.
Speak with your doctor about how often you should have your vision and hearing tested. The typical schedule for many people is once a year. If you have a condition or are predisposed to a condition that could have your vision or hearing declining more rapidly, your doctor may want to perform tests more often.
3. Know Your Limits
It can be difficult for people to admit that they have age-related declines. It can also be difficult for people to limit activities that they find necessary or simply enjoy. It’s important to know your limits when it comes to driving and to make the needed adjustments.
For example, you may find a steering wheel cover makes it easier to grip the wheel appropriately and comfortably. You may need to adjust your wheel up or down, move your seat forward or back, or look for enhanced safety features on your next new car purchase.
You should speak to your doctor if you are finding it difficult to drive as comfortably as you once did, and ask about solutions to the difficulties you are having.
4. Pay Attention to Road Conditions — and Your Own
You can make your driving safer by paying attention to the weather, the condition of the roads and how you are feeling. If you limit your driving to daytime hours, don’t drive through storms or other inclement weather and only drive when you are feeling alert, you can greatly reduce your chances of being involved in an accident.
Consider using Miami’s public transportation if you aren’t feeling well, are fatigued or if the weather doesn’t permit you to drive. Never feel like driving means you are stuck in the house with nothing to do. You can certainly catch a bus or even summons a ride-sharing service.
5. Know Your Routes
It can be confusing for anyone to drive in an unfamiliar area. If you are in a new part of Florida or this is your first year as a snowbird, learn the routes for the places you are most likely to travel. It’s a good idea to refamiliarize yourself with routes that you haven’t driven in several months.
Don’t always rely on a navigation system to tell you where to go. Even paying strict attention to your GPS can take your focus off the road.
6. Update Your Skills
Many people don’t know that there are courses available for people who already have a driver’s license. A refresher course not only gives you a renewed sense for safe driving, but can help reduce your auto insurance premiums. Consider taking one of these courses before you hit the Florida roads.
There is nothing wrong with admitting that your driving skills are declining or you think they are. You may have begun to notice things that are affecting your ability to drive safely. Ask for help. You can speak to your doctor about solutions to the issues you are facing. Don’t be afraid that someone is going to take your keys. Asking for help is a sign of responsibility and your determination to keep yourself and everyone on the road safer.
Speak to a Car Accident Lawyer in Miami Today
If you are involved in a car accident, no matter your age, you deserve a Miami car accident lawyer who will fight tirelessly for your rights. We are here for you 24/7. Reach out to our team via phone or online to schedule your free case evaluation.
You deserve to be compensated for your injuries and we are here to make sure you get every penny entitled to you by law.