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Driving as an Older Adult

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Samantha Slaton

on 1 February 2015

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Transcript of Driving as an Older Adult

Did you know?
In 2009, there were 33 million 65+ year old adults who had their driver's license. This is an increase of 23% from 1999.
On average, 500 older adults are involved in a motor vehicle collision every day!
Fifteen of these accidents will be fatal

Why this many accidents and fatalaties?
Just because you age, doesn't mean your driving privilege should be revoked! It just means that you should be aware of how you're aging and figure out if it is affecting your ability to drive. With age:
Hearing and vision diminish.
Reaction time is slower.
Memory is not as sharp.
If you take several medications, your sensory awareness and reflexes can be altered.
What can older adults do to stay safe on the road?
Not sure how safe of a driver you are?
Contact a local Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS)! The following is a short video about how a CDRS can help you!
Driving as an Older Adult
Do you feel unsafe when you are behind the wheel?
Medications that effect driving
Benzodiazepines (for anxiety):

Xanax, Librium, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan--
>lightheadedness, drowsiness, confusion

Antiarrhythmics (heart rhythm):
Norpace, Vascor, Inderal, Cordarone, Betapace
-->blurred vision, abnormally fast or slow heartbeat, dizziness

Norco, Perococet, Lortab
-->unable to focus, drowsiness
You should NOT drive if you are experiencing..
Syncope (dizzy spells)
Angina (chest pain)
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Cataplexy (sleep attack)
More tips to be a safer driver!
Benefits of not driving
Save money! On gas and car payments
Take local senior shuttle service if your community provides one and make new friends!
Walk and improve your health!
to find local shuttles!

Antihypertensives (high blood pressure):
Lopressor, Coreg, Norvasc, Prinivil, Cozaar
--> dizziness, blurred vission, drowsiness

Common cold meds:

Benadryl, Sudafed, Codeine(for cough)
-->drowsiness, dizziness
Medicines continued...
Get lots of rest!
Keep up with annual eye and ear appointments!
Ask your doctor about side effects of the medications that you are taking! Some of the medicines that you take could affect your ability to drive.
Buy a safe care and know all of it's features!
Top 5 safest cars for seniors (Edmunds.com)
Audi A8 Sedan
Ford Taurus Sedan
Honda Accord Sedan
Hyundai Sonata Sedan
Drive defensively! Do NOT:

follow too closely
drive too fast
drive too slow
pay attention to distractions like phone and radio
Know your destination!
This will prevent sudden turns and the inability to concentrate on just the road!
Do not 'brave the storm'!

Are the roads icy or is there a torrential downpour outside? Then do you absolutely have to go to the dry cleaners?
Be smart! Think safe!
Listen to the concern of your loved ones! If someone that cares about you is telling you that you shouldn't drive, it is because they are thinking about your safety!
Never drink alcohol and drive!!

Always wear your seatbelt! And safe driving shoes!
Avoid flip flops
Try tennis shoes instead!
Drive during the daylight!
Exercise regularly!!

This will help keep you agile and able to react faster!
Have a driving buddy!!
This person can help you change lanes if need be and help make smart driving decisions!
Take well-lit routes!!
Avoid places without adequate light!
Drive in familiar areas!!
Don't drive to places you have never been!
Think about alternative ways to get around!!
Public transportation or shuttle systems are great ways to travel if you do not feel comfortable driving!
References, continued
Prezi picture citations: All photos came from Google Images:

(1)-Federal Highway Administration. Department of Transportation (US). Highway statistics 1999. Washington (DC) Retrieved from http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/hs99/tables/d120.pdf

(2)-How medications can affect driving. (2011). Retrieved from http://seniordriving.aaa.com/medical-conditions-medications/how-medications-can-affect-driving-ability-roadwise-rx

(3)-Segal, J. (2014). Age and driving. Safety tips and warning signs for older adult drivers. Retrieved from: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/aging-well/age-and-driving-safety-tips.htm#top
Driving to independence. (2014). Intro to driving eval. Retrieved from: http://www.drivingtoindependence.com/get-started.html
What did you take away from this?
What are the 5 top tips to driving as an older adult that stuck with you most?
What medicines are you going to review with your doctor?
Full transcript