Psychological Effects of Growing Age on Driving

There is no set rule that tells seniors to stop driving at a certain age. You can continue to drive as long as you wish to, if you consult your doctor regularly and get health check-ups done more often. There is no doubt that with age, your mind and body will experience certain psychological changes that could affect your driving ability. To most baby boomers who've driven since the age of 16, the thought of giving up their keys could imply giving up their life or parting with their much-valued freedom.

An overview of the psychological impact of aging on driving is provided below.

How aging affects our mind and body and impacts our driving pattern


Physiological changes


You are 60. You are agile. You still shake a leg or two at the disc and have barbeque dinners in your backyard, but you can't deny the increasing gray in your hair and the occasional quiver in your hands every time you put your car in the back gear. Nor can you ignore the abrupt pain in your eyes whenever you try to gaze at the headlights.

Does that mean you are to give up your keys? In all probability not. Just change your driving pattern as your body ages.

Some of the things you need to focus on, if you don't wish to give up your keys are:

Vision


How many times have you been caught unaware of the looming truck or the constant honking of the motorist? No, it isn't that you are careless; It is just that your vision is not in agreement with you due to which you're not being able to judge the speed and location of other vehicles around you.

If you've been experiencing these symptoms while driving, you need to consult your ophthalmologist and begin your treatment at the earliest. An early detection of glaucoma, cataracts and other eye diseases is helpful in controlling the damage. Avoid wearing tinted glasses or sunglasses on bright days.

Mental Ability


As you grow old, you may not lose your ability to think, but your ability to act instantaneously in critical situations may slow down. For example, you might have trouble determining whether it is the 2nd lane or the 5th lane you should be taking, or whether you're maintaining an ideal driving speed? In most cases, your friends, family and doctors will advice you to take some one with you while you drive. Avoid multi-tasking while driving. For example, driving and attending the cell phone at the same time is a strict no-no!

 

Any of the above problems can seriously affect your driving abilities, and can lead to accidents, potentially fatal. However, simply having these problems does not mean that you have to give up driving altogether. However, you may have to consult your doctor and follow certain precautions for a safe driving experience.