This April for National Distracted Driving Awareness Month it’s a good idea to talk to your senior about what distracted driving is and how it might impact her life. Distracted driving is a big deal for people of all ages, but there are other ramifications for seniors. Often those consequences can involve losing a driver’s license or worse, injury.
Driving Often Represents Freedom and Independence
Before you and your senior talk about distracted driving, it’s important for you to understand just how important driving can be for her. Many seniors equate driving with independence and freedom, so anything that might threaten driving also threatens those important parts of her life. That means how you approach talking about distracted driving is important. Tackling the topic in the wrong way is likely to make your senior double down and not want to discuss the topic further.
Distracted Driving Defined
Understanding distracted driving is easier than you might think. Distracted driving is anything that removes your senior’s attention from the act of driving and of dealing with traffic around her. That means that almost anything could be a distraction from driving, as long as it means she’s not paying full attention to the task.
Hearing and Vision Issues Can Be Distracting
One of the biggest causes of distraction for your elderly family member while she’s driving could very well be changes to her hearing or vision. When she’s not able to see or hear well, that can be a big problem in every area of your elderly family member’s life. Regular vision and hearing tests can help your senior to stay on top of changes to those vital senses.
Cell phones can be just as much a distraction for your elderly family member as it can be for drivers of any age. Knowing how to use her phone can help her to avoid fumbling with her phone, especially if she’s willing to use voice-activated hands-free features. Talking, eating, drinking, and all sorts of other activities that aren’t related to driving can also be a huge distraction for your elderly family member.
Finding Ways to Limit Distractions
Reducing or limiting distractions as much as possible is imperative. If that can’t be done, however, it might be a good idea to consider alternatives, like having in-home care providers handle the driving for your senior. Home care can offer huge benefits to your elderly family member in other ways, too. In-home care reduces stress, assists with tasks that are becoming more difficult, and can just overall ensure that your senior is as safe and happy as possible.
Reducing distractions during driving is a must if your senior is going to continue driving on a regular basis. However you and your elderly family member can work through anything that is causing her to be a distracted driver can help. The alternative isn’t terrible once your senior realizes that not driving doesn’t mean that she’s going to be stuck at home and expected to stay isolated.