Having an attitude of defensive driving can give your elderly family member an advantage behind the wheel. This is because she’s actively anticipating what other drivers might do and she’s doing what she can to avoid interactions that could result in a wreck. Here are some tactics that can give your elderly family member an edge behind the wheel.
Leave Space Between Vehicles.
If your elderly family member prefers to tailgate, that can cause her quite a few problems while driving. What she really needs to do is to leave space between her vehicle and the others on the road. This gives her room if she needs to make an evasive maneuver. It also gives her the room that she needs in order to brake safely should the traffic in front of her stop or slow suddenly.
Driving with the Flow of Traffic.
The flow of traffic is different for every type of road, but it is usually very close to the speed limit for that roadway. If your aging adult is driving too slowly or too quickly, she likely has to avoid other vehicles. Maintaining a consistent speed that is similar to the flow of traffic helps her to stay out of the path of other drivers.
Reducing Distractions While Driving.
Distractions are a problem for just about everyone who drives. If the radio is too loud or there are other things going on, such as phone calls or adding information to the GPS unit, that can all create a difficult driving scenario for your elderly family member. Make sure that she reduces her own distractions as much as possible so she’s aware of the road and drivers around her.
Paying Special Attention at Intersections.
Intersections can pose a particular problem. Many times, other drivers aren’t paying enough attention and a collision can easily occur. If your elderly family member is the one who isn’t paying attention, however, she might become the source of the collision. Encourage her to check twice at intersections before driving away and that she’s using her mirrors and all other tools to stay safe while driving.
Many driving instructors offer defensive driving courses for older adults. If your elderly family member is more comfortable in the passenger seat, consider hiring senior care providers who can help with transportation.