June was National Drive Safe Month but at Commonwealth Eyes, we believe staying safe on the road is a critical topic every day of the year. One area that’s especially important is driving safely into the Golden Years. It’s not always fun to talk about but it’s necessary. Vision and hearing are by far top areas of concern as we get older, as both are needed to stay safe and alert behind the wheel. Everyone should get regular eye exams but seniors are often more affected with vision issues than younger people. If you wear glasses, have your prescription checked at least once per year. If you don’t wear glasses but are experiencing changes in your vision, you’ll want to see your local eye doctor, who also can check for other conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma. Here are some other tips that can help you stay healthy and safe on the road. Be active. Getting enough physical activity is good for overall health but being fit can help keep your mind sharp.
Know when to drive. Avoid driving at night and during busy traffic times. If you must drive during these times, you may want to make alternate plans for transportation if you have trouble seeing at night or feel uncomfortable driving during rush hour when there are more cars on the road and everyone is in a hurry. Also, try to stay off the road when the weather is bad, which is good advice for drivers of all ages.
Get regular check-ups. We’ve probably all heard the warning from a concerned loved one to watch out for other drivers on the road. So while our driving skills may be spectacular, we need to be able to react quickly if another driver makes a mistake. It’s a good idea to get regular check-ups to maintain your overall health but also to have your reflexes tested.
If you’re unsure about your ability to drive, always refer to your eye and/or health professional’s expert opinion.