5 Driving Tips for Senior Citizens from Your Local Cleveland Ford Dealer
|Topics: Ford Motor Company
July 7, 2010
Ford Driving Skills for Life was created in 2003 and has since reached over 300,000 teens, parents and teachers to help teach driving skills that aren't learned in traditional driver's education. Although Ford Driving Skills for Life focuses on helping teens become better drivers, it also provides information for parents, teachers and senior citizens on how to drive more safely. Ford Driving Skills for Life was developed by national safety experts and features a variety of videos and other media to teach better driving skills.
According to Ford Driving Skills for Life, traffic crash fatalities increase as we age. Although the statistic is usually used to show that senior drivers are unsafe and unfit for the roads, the fact is that fatalities increase because as we get older, our bodies are not as capable of recovering from a car accident as it once was, not necessarily because of driving skills.
Another factor that affects drivers of all ages is an misconception of how much we are really at risk when we're on the road. One out of every five to 10 drivers will be involved in a car accident within the next year, according to experts at Ford Driving Skills for Life. Many people believe that their risk is more like one in a hundred or some even believe it's one in a thousand. When you're aware of the real risk, it's easier to be more cautious when driving. Follow these tips supported by your local Cleveland Ford dealer to start being a better driver today. No matter what your age is, it's never too late to improve your driving skills.
• Follow other cars from a safe distance. You should be at least 4-5 second behind the car ahead of you. To find out how far behind you are, look for a landmark in the distance, such as a street light or tree. As the car in front of you passes, begin counting. When you pass the same landmark, stop counting. Did you count to 1 or 2? You're too close behind, fall back to decrease your chances of a crash. When you follow too closely behind, you don't have as much time to react if there is a sudden stop, or other situation that is presented to you while driving. When stopping at a traffic light, stop at least a car's length behind the car in front of you. This prevents you from crashing front first into them if someone were to crash into your car's tail.
• Be aware of your surroundings. Make sure you have a clear space also known as an escape route on at least one side of your vehicle and adjust your speed to the traffic that surrounds you. An escape route will allow you to swerve out of the way if another car accidentally swerves into your lane or another problem presents itself too quickly for you to brake.
• Adjust side mirrors to flare out so that you no longer see the side of your car in them. This helps as we become older and our necks become stiff and harder to move because it eliminates most of your blind spot and allows you to check other lanes with only a small turn of the head.
• Avoid left turns. As people age they experience a loss of depth perception. This can make left hand turns difficult because it's hard to estimate whether or not you have enough time to go. Have your doctor check your depth perception at your next exam and take left hand turns with caution when they are unavoidable.
• Enroll yourself in a workshop such as the Traffic Improvement Association's Mature Driver Workshop. You can learn how to execute compensation skills, measure your depth perception, night glare recovery time, field of view and brake reaction time. These workshops are usually inexpensive and can make a huge difference in helping you to become the best driver possible.
It's impossible for anyone to be the perfect driver all the time, however realizing that your body is changing and your reaction time is not what it used to be can help you compensate for your physical changes. By realizing that you can't control the other drivers around you and being cautious and aware of what is going on around you on the road, you can avoid accidents that could have resulted in serious injury or death. You've had a lot of years on the road, using your mature judgment and good driving habits to evaluate your own driving skills and taking the time to fix the bad habits you may have picked up over the years can make a huge different in your life and drastically reduce the chances of a fatal accident.