Growing older is just a part of life, but with it brings new challenges when trying to keep safe on the roads. Here are some tips to help:

Stay active.

As we age, joints get stiffer, muscles will weaken, and arthritis becomes more prominent. In other words, it gets harder to turn the steering wheel quickly, brake quickly, and turn your head to check blind spots. The best way to avoid this issue getting in the way of your driving ability is to stay active to improve your flexibility and strength. If that soreness or weakness starts to get in the way of your driving, then see your doctor for possible solutions.

Get regular vision and hearing tests.

The senses will also get duller as we age, and vision and hearing are an important part of safe driving. Bad vision will make it hard to see the road clearly—especially at night. Bad hearing will prevent the driver from knowing emergency vehicles or a train are approaching. That’s why these senses are tested every time you get a new driver’s license, but those do not happen yearly. Older drivers should instead stay on top of their own vision and hearing needs.

Manage your medications.

Medications that make you feel drowsy, lightheaded, or slower to react could be a cause for concern when driving. A quick reaction time is key for avoiding sudden actions that could cause a collision. Know what medications you take and their side effects, and talk with your doctor if they’re starting to make you feel unalert when driving.

Leave yourself more time to react.

Reflexes naturally get slower as we age, so older drivers should keep that in mind and adjust accordingly. Leave more space between you and the car in front of you, try to stay in the right-hand lane more often on fast-moving highways, avoid rush hours when you can, and brake earlier.

Try to avoid driving in bad conditions.

When roads are in bad conditions (such as icy, snowy, or foggy), it affects your reaction time and how safely you can navigate your car on the roads. Avoid bad road conditions all together to be safe rather than sorry.

When collisions do happen, it’s important to find a trusted collision center to make the repairs. Superior Collision Center is located in Eagan, MN and handles auto body repairs from small scratches to replacing bumpers.