Safe driving is more than just a skill. It is a therapeutic activity that offers individuals the freedom to travel to different locations and time to relax and unwind. Simultaneously, it requires road signs and traffic laws. But as we grow older, even the simple task of turning a head around seems daunting. Due to changing physical abilities, following safe driving tips can become challenging for senior citizens.
However, taking extra care and following a few safe driving tips can offer a secure driving experience to UAE’s senior citizens.
Here are some safe driving tips for senior citizens of the UAE.
Get A Physical Health Assessment Done
Flexibility, strong muscles, and good joints are required to turn the steering wheel at the right time. However, the entire musculoskeletal system undergoes significant changes with aging. Stiff joints and muscle pain become a common phenomenon in old age. In such scenarios, staying physically active can help you improve your physical strength and flexibility, making driving safer.
Consider having a fitness routine to retain your strength and prefer exercise like walking and stretching to reduce your health-related issues. Also, visit a fitness physician to get recommendations for your health and diet.
Get A Vision and Hearing Test Done
Some physical abilities like hearing and vision tend to decline as we grow older, affecting our safe driving abilities. It is risky to drive with eye problems like hyperopia, presbyopia, astigmatism, and gradual loss of hearing in one or both ears. It weakens your eyesight and reduces your ability to see clearly.
As a precaution, you must consult your doctor monthly and test your vision and hearing abilities. Also, it is good to avoid driving at night and maintain a safe distance while driving on the road.
Drive In Good Weather Conditions
As a senior citizen, you can always increase your road safety by driving in safe and clear weather conditions. Avoid driving in heavy rain and sandstorms and go out when the weather is sunny and clear. If you have weak eyesight, we recommend traveling only via familiar roads or waiting until the weather improves.
Refresh Your Driving Skills
Another effective way to drive safely is to update your driving skills frequently. Since traffic rules and laws keep changing in the UAE, it is good to approach professional drivers to add to your driving skills and knowledge. Consider enrolling in a refresher course for senior citizens to sharpen your driving skills. You can also look for driving lessons through local organizations and community education programs specially designed for older citizens.
Read More: Habits of Highly Exceptional Drivers
Avoid Driving in Crowds
Cramped and crowded roads provide little to no room for movement within a lane, which can make it difficult for senior citizens to navigate through a traffic jam. It can be challenging to navigate pedestrians, bicycles, and other vehicles in such a crowded location. Senior citizens should avoid driving in crowds and prefer local transport in case of urgency, considering the risk of road accidents.
Know Your Routes
It is always good to plan your journey before you start it. Consider checking the map to understand the routes to your destination. Doing this will not let you fumble around for directions and get diverted by Google Maps or GPS service. Also, avoid using cell phones, eating snacks, or listening to distracting music while driving on an unknown road to improve your focus.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep ensures extra awareness and safety while driving. But if you are sleep-deprived and have not slept properly for a few days, it is advisable to stay alert while driving. Senior citizens should get eight to nine hours of sleep to ensure road safety before getting behind the wheel.
Use necessary aids
Using necessary aids while driving can help you drive smoothly on the roads. The common safety tools senior citizens can use are hearing aids, goggles, step tools, lumber support, seat belt extender, panoramic mirror, and leg lift straps.
We expect all these tips to help you drive smoothly and comfortably on the road and ensure safety for you and your fellow passengers. You can share your driving experience and queries with us in the comments!