Driving into old age, when is it time to stop?When you’re older, having your own car can mean the difference between maintaining your independence and being stuck at home, lonely and isolated. Although senior citizens get free bus passes, sometimes public transport can be unpredictable, unreliable or simply non-existent, so having your own car can seem like the best option. However, there can be some problems with keeping a car into your old age.
As you get older, there could be more and more health concerns than when you were younger. Aches and pains that occur can make car journeys too troublesome and even distract you to the point that it is dangerous for yourself if you continue to drive.
There are other problems with the deteriorating health of drivers too. Deteriorating vision is a common problem in old age and can have an awful affect on driving. Additionally, as you get older your reaction times tend to slow down. In combination your reaction times and poorer vision could result in a more dangerous situation, if a child playing in the street ran out in front of you or a car pulled out on you for example.
Eyesight can deteriorate so slowly that you might not even notice, although you might feel safe on local roads as you know these well and you can possibly predict the amount of traffic in the places closest to you from day to day, unknown journeys can be made more stressful.
If you choose to give up driving when you get older, then there are certain things you need to keep in mind to stay safe as a pedestrian. If you do need to walk on the road, remember to walk towards the oncoming traffic, you will be able to see traffic coming towards you sooner and they will see you too.
Remember our reaction times, speed of walking, judgement of speed and distance can change as we get older, so take care when crossing the road either by foot or driving across.