Your Driving Skills
Tips and technology for the road
What can you do when your driving skills are not as sharp as they used to be. Our reflexes are not as quick as we are gracefully greying, and our vision and distance perception are not as keen. Our bodies are less flexible. Here are some suggestions to keep you safe, as you continue driving, according to an article by Carol Levine, author, AARP’s Navigating Your Later Years for Dummies.
- Drive less at night.
- Drive less in bad weather.
- Try to avoid heavy traffic.
- Slow down when you are driving.
- If you are on medications that warn, “do not operate heavy machinery while taking this drug,” do not forget that a car is heavy machinery.
- Take a safe driving course if you are concerned.
- In addition, many states offer insurance discounts if you complete the course.
When you’ve been driving for decades it’s easy to feel like you know it all. Yet for years, national surveys have shown that about one in five of us would flunk a written driver’s test. There also are laws that evolve with the times, like those regarding pedestrians and cell phone use that many people simply don’t know. Legal and tech changes mean even longtime drivers have gaps in their driving know-how. AARP also offers a quiz: Do you know the rules of the road?
The AARP Smart DriverTEK workshop is an easy, interactive way to stay up to date on the newest technology in your current or future car. Learn about popular features like blind-spot detection systems, forward-collision warning systems and much more. Take a look at AARP's online learning course to boost your driving confidence and keep your family safer on the road.
An AARP by Kyle Rakow, Brain Training Tips for Smart Driving, offers advice on keeping your brain sharp, making you safer on the road. Keep the following quick tips in mind as you select activities to sharpen your brain and maintain your safe driving skills.
- Variety: Mastering a new skill gets easier with time and practice, so introduce some variety into the types of activities you choose. By changing exercises on a regular basis, your mind will have to work harder to accomplish the task.
- Challenge: Never let any exercise become too routine — including those for your brain. Challenge yourself with activities that have increasing levels of difficulty.
- Novelty: Try new things. Parts of the brain (such as the prefrontal cortex) are "exercised" most when you learn to master new cognitive challenges.
There are so many issues involving driving at any age, especially as we are gracefully greying and trying to live life fully. We will address more of these issues in the near future. If you have any stories about this topic, please share them with us and become a contributing member. We would love to hear from you.