If you have a Drivers License you surely remember your first car. It was truly your first experience of travel freedom and responsibility. Maintaining our Drivers License as we age is important to us on so many levels. It's our independence, for one. Aging with good reflex agility, strong muscles and bones and our presence of mind will keep us on that road of independence.
That's one of the many good reasons to be proactive about your health. It can keep you connected to activities and the social prowess that invigorate both young and older alike. It can also feel like impending doom if we fear we might not pass the grade. So here are a few suggestions that may help.
If we want to stay sharp at anything we care about, we practice. Yes in addition to the utility of having a car to drive, it's not out of the question to go for a practice run to focus on skill sharpening but even better, take a lesson from a pro. Driving Schools offer training to all levels of folks; safety being top of mind. When we practice, our confidence also grows. Handling a vehicle in a fast-paced motorized world has become somewhat an expert venture. You need to know the rules, prepare for changing conditions and keep up with quick decision making to ensure a safe reaction.
We also want to be sure our vehicle is in good repair, running well, operating with good visibility, working signals and sound mechanical function. Simple checks like engine oil, coolant levels, tire pressure, lights & signals and clean, clear windows are all part and parcel of the responsibility. You need to feel on top of your game too. Your Doctor or Pharmacist can help if medications may affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. Managing medications, keeping your eye prescription and hearing health in check, using sun glasses and feeling one hundred percent keeps us erring on the side of caution. Avoid distraction while you drive, a loud radio or attempting to manage eating or drinking can be managing too many things at once. It's best to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road while being aware of what's going on around us in traffic.
A good driver cares about their well-being and the safety of others on the road too. If you feel groggy or fatigued, find an alternate. There's always the unexpected so approach your venture with defensiveness in mind. Knowing the ability of your vehicle and your own level of comfort is key to safe travel. These may all seem like common sense but sometimes we need a gentle reminder.
Choose your best time, know your route, get road updates and keep your speed in check as you flow with traffic. There are always a few who think the rules don't apply to them so it's wise to let them pass by.
Driving is a privilege. It's a freedom we've earned. We want to feel confident and decisive when we get behind the wheel. It takes a healthy, capable body and clear state of mind to use that privilege. Otherwise, we make the sound decision to hand over the keys while we relax, look out the window and listen to the radio. Baby you can drive my car!