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Summer Driving Tips for Seniors

By Rick Cohen, 9:00 am on

Although wet, icy roads are among some of the most hazardous driving conditions, the warm summer months certainly bring their own dangers as well. Following are several ways your senior loved one can stay safe while operating his or her vehicle during the hottest time of the year.

Be Mindful of the Risks of Summer Driving

While many seniors are still perfectly capable of operating automobiles, aging adults have to be cognizant of their increased fragility. Crashes that younger drivers might survive could prove fatal to an elderly motorist. This makes it important for seniors to always operate their automobiles with caution by planning their trips in advance, taking rest stops when needed, and avoiding trips during busy commute hours whenever possible.

Prepare for a Roadside Emergency

Anything can happen out on the open road. Seniors have to be prepared for all types of emergencies including accidents, automotive malfunctions, and extended traffic jams. Every driver should have a comprehensive emergency kit that includes roadside flares and first aid supplies. Seniors should also have emergency roadside services through reputable companies that are known for rapid response times.

Have the Tires Checked

Seniors should have their vehicles tuned up and their tires rotated as part of a diligent and ongoing maintenance schedule. Having a well-maintained vehicle is one of the most effective forms of accident prevention. Routine maintenance services can improve traction, stopping times and handling. They can also help seniors save by staving off major repairs and extending the lifetime of their autos. Seniors should also have their in-car air conditioning systems serviced at least once per year.

Medication, Heat and Driving: Know the Risks

Aging adults should talk with their doctors about the combined effects of high temperatures, their medication and driving. While some prescription drugs may not have an impact on concentration, coordination or overall driving abilities, this could change once seniors are exposed to an excessive amount of heat for an extended amount of time. Talking with a regular doctor about the potential risks of this combination is important.

Regularly Have Driving Skills Evaluated

Families should remain cognizant of changes in senior driving abilities. Diminished response times, increased forgetfulness, and even changes in physical mobility could make safe driving a near-impossible task. Family members can check senior vehicles for signs of accidents, near-miss events and other evidence of driving problems. Talking to seniors about giving up their car keys can be made easier by presenting aging adults with various convenient, alternative options in transportation. Senior transportation services provided by municipal bus companies and transportation support from home care agencies in Milwaukee can help elderly people maintain robust social lives and their sense of autonomy after is driving is no longer feasible.

Although we are known for our Alzheimer’s care Milwaukee families trust, we also offer live-in and flexible hourly care to ensure seniors who live independently have the support they need to maintain a safe and comfortable lifestyle at home. Learn more by calling (414) 964-8000 and scheduling a free in-home consultation.