A big advantage that senior drivers have is that they have a lot of experience. However, there is still some adapting that needs to happen in order to stay current with the laws and equipment of the current times. Check out these seven safety tips and see if you can incorporate any of them into your life:

1. Don’t Drive at Night

Once you hit your 30s, your eyesight starts to go downhill. Many will find that they need to start wearing glasses or contact lenses just to be able to drive. Once night time hits, the roads become dark and the glare from other headlights only makes seeing more difficult; therefore, it may be a good idea to travel with someone who has good eyesight for help spotting hazards at night.

Aside from the decreased ability to see at night, there’s a bigger problem at hand. Fatigue is a very serious and underestimated danger. If someone is tired, they simply should not be driving. It’s best to avoid the risk of driving fatigue by doing whatever driving you need during the day.

2. Take a Driving Course

You would likely feel out of place taking a driver’s education course with a bunch of teens, and it’s not really what you need to learn. There’s a mature driving course made specifically for seniors, which covers things like handling pedestrians, the rules of yielding, 4-way stops, and changing lanes.

Another benefit is that you may find that you enjoy hanging out with the other senior drivers. Since seniors have so much experience driving, it makes it easier to learn from each other rather than just an instructor. You can start looking at >retirement or travel associations.

3. Avoid Heavy Traffic

It’s common sense that you should avoid heavy traffic because there’s a much higher risk of accident. Unfortunately, there will just be times where you absolutely cannot avoid it. However, you can stay confident by preparing properly.

Make sure you exercise patience since getting anxious will only increase chances of something bad happening. You should always use signals to tell other drivers your intentions before you perform the action. When getting off at an exit, get into the proper lane early and signal when it is time.

Another thing you can do is learn alternate routes so when you do drive during heavy traffic, you can avoid it with less-traveled streets.

4. Body Warm-Ups

Being prepared for hitting the road is one of the most important parts of safe driving. You’re checking your car and adjusting everything you need to before you start driving, so why not your body? It will feel great to get your body ready to sit down in the car and relieve a little stress before heading out.

A simple warm-up includes stretching the normal problem areas such as the neck, shoulders, and torso. Rotate your body, bend your neck in different ways to stretch it from different angles, and do some arm circles for a good warm-up. This kind of stretching will improve your flexibility, perk you up, and promote relaxation.

5. Be Aware of Sharing the Road

When focusing on your driving, it’s very easy to let other vehicles fly by without notice. It’s important that you watch for any person or animal that may come onto the road.

Using the highways for recreation is very common these days, so the challenge is to stay focused on the road ahead while doing quick scans of what’s around you.

When planning for your next drive, spend some time thinking about what you are likely to encounter. Things that might come up are children going to school, off-road vehicles, and large vehicles with trailers.

6. Choose Instrument Panels Wisely

New cars come with some amazing technology these days. The instrument panel is what you use to interact with your vehicle, so you should choose one that’s easy for you to read and use.

Many instrument panels come with a ton of extra stuff that doesn’t add to the safety of a car, and in some cases, they may even distract you and make driving less safe due to lost concentration. Pick an instrument panel that you find easy to use, and don’t feel drawn in by fancy things like flashing lights and hands-free technologies.

7. Avoid Distractions

There will be plenty more distractions than just the instrument panel. There are conversations with passengers, cell phones, and even past worries that may cause to become distracted while driving. Anything that causes you to lose focus on the road for even just a few seconds is considered a distraction.

If punishment is a good motivator for getting you to stop using your cell phone while driving, check out your local state laws to see what consequences there may be.

Distracted driving happens even when you day dream about something or worry about something coming up in the future. Right when you notice your mind has wandered, it’s time to refocus. One thing you can do is pull over and do another one of those warm-ups that we talked about above.

As you get older, a lot of changes are going to take place. Since driving will always be important to you but also more dangerous as you age, it’s vital that you find ways to improve your driving skills. If you found some of these safety tips useful, tell them to a friend. In the end, safe driving tips have saved a lot of lives.

Resources for Additional Reading

Find out more about senior driving at SeniorDriving.AAA.com and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.