To Drive Or Not To Drive?

What if you are doing all you can to be a safe driver and still wonder if you should stop driving? This is a difficult decision. There are questions to ask yourself:

  • Do other drivers often honk at you?
  • Have you had some accidents, even "fender benders"?
  • Are you getting lost, even on well-known roads?
  • Do cars or pedestrians seem to appear out of nowhere?
  • Have family, friends, or your doctor said they were worried about your driving?
  • Do you drive less because you are not as confident about your ability as you once were?

If you answered yes to any of these, you probably should think seriously about whether or not you are still a safe driver.

HOW DOES AGE AFFECT DRIVING

Changes in our bodies

As you age, your joints may stiffen, and muscles weaken. Turning your head to look back or steering and braking the car may become hard to do. Movements are slower and may not be as accurate. Your senses of smell, hearing, sight, touch, and taste might grow weaker.

Vision, being able to see, is a vital part of driving, but age brings changes in the lens of the eye. Eyes need more light in order to see and are more sensitive to glare. Your ability to see things on the edge of the viewing area, peripheral vision, narrows. Vision problems include cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

  • Cataracts: In cataracts the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, causing problems with the ability to see.
  • Macular Degeneration : A breakdown of material inside the eye that leads to a loss of vision in the central part of the viewing area.
  • Glaucoma: The rise in pressure inside the eye that develops in glaucoma may limit the ability to see things on the edge of the viewing area.