Driving is and will be an important component of mobility and functional independence. According to Oxford Academic, older adults aged 65 years or more will make up around 20% of the American population. It is even more critical for them to assess their physical condition and how it affects their ability to drive safely. Impending driving license renewal can be worrisome for many senior drivers. However, the following handy tips can ensure success:
Undertake Your Annual Eye Exam
You cannot drive safely without good vision but unfortunately your vision changes as you age. It is normal to experience less clear sight due to less light entering the eye, the field of view becoming narrower, and the inability to focus. These factors can affect your driving ability. One of the best ways of retaining a better quality of vision is getting your annual eye checkup. If you have a driving license renewal scheduled, you should get your eyes checked so you are confident that you can see as well as you need to on the road.
Assess Your Hearing
An important aspect of safe driving is hearing. You need to be able to hear other drivers sounding their horns to alert you. If you cannot hear the honks, you may be involved in a car crash. Since half of the seniors above the age of 75 experience hearing loss, an ear checkup should figure high on your list of priorities before getting your license renewed. If a doctor has prescribed a hearing aid, you should wear it when you drive. However, keeping the windows open can affect its effectiveness. Good hearing is vital for renewing a senior citizen’s license.
Evaluate Your Motor Skills and Reaction Time
With age, it is natural for your strength, coordination, and flexibility to decrease and affect your ability to drive safely. An increase in reaction time may prevent you from applying your brakes or swerving to avoid oncoming traffic. If this happens, you could be involved in an accident with danger to life and limb. Being aware of your reaction time will enable you to drive more safely and confidently.
Know Your Medications
As you age, it is natural for you to suffer from various chronic ailments for which your doctor may have prescribed medicines to treat and manage them. However, you should be aware that many medicines may affect your ability to drive safely. Some medications may make you drowsy, while others make it difficult to focus. You must consult your doctor to find out if the prescribed medicines have any impact on your ability to drive safely. You can ask him to prescribe alternatives in case you cannot avoid driving.
You must be relaxed on the day of your driver’s license renewal. If you are tense, you are liable to make mistakes that can lead to denial of your renewal application. Try to go to bed on time the previous evening and get a good night’s sleep. Arrive at the DMV office on time and focus on passing your driving test without worrying.