Older Drivers Need to Talk About Driving Anxieties Sooner Than Later
Ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away. Instead, it makes what could be a small issue morph into a major anxiety that can hinder the way you live your life. Older drivers, who stay mum about their lack of driving confidence or driving anxieties when they first notice them, are in danger of limiting their time on the open road.
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“When older drivers become uncomfortable in certain driving situations, some may assume they have to live with the discomfort while others unnecessarily reduce their mobility,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “By addressing issues of discomfort early, older drivers can learn more about age-related changes to their body and discuss strategies with their healthcare provider to best compensate for declines.”
As drivers get older, driving situations that they’ve never had trouble with like driving at night, driving in heavy traffic, driving on the highway, or driving through or to places they’ve never been, can suddenly become an issue, according to AAA.
To deal with these fears, older drivers avoid or limit these stress-inducing driving situations, reports AAA. However, some changes, like avoiding highways and spending more time on side streets, can contribute to driving dangers as well.
“Older drivers should not let physical discomfort and low confidence limit their mobility or safety, especially when your doctor may help you find ways to address these issues,” said Rhonda Shah, AAA manager of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Community Impact. “Oftentimes, simple adjustments to your vehicle, a driver refresher course or a change to your prescription medications can improve comfort and safety behind the wheel. The key is to speak up about it.”
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News Source: AAA