As we age, many of us might notice a change in some important skills needed for safe driving, such as vision, memory, strength, flexibility, and reflexes. Though these natural, age-related changes do not affect all drivers at the same age or in the same way, we need to understand how aging affects our ability to drive, learn how to identify changes in our driving behavior, and know what to do to address these changes.
Changes in cognition, for instance, may affect thinking, sensory perception, attention, learning, memory, thought, visual processing, reading, and problem-solving. Driving is a very complex activity that requires many of these skills, and any decline may cause distraction or disorientation, problems maintaining control of the car, trouble recognizing changes in traffic conditions, and more.
A short self-assessment featured in Chapter 2 of Florida’s Guide to Safe Mobility for Life can help you determine if these changes are affecting your ability to drive safely. Sometimes, minor adjustments such as avoiding rush hour traffic and only driving during the day are all that are needed to make you a more comfortable driver.
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