The effects of aging on driving

How to continue driving safely with the passing years...

​ No one is immune to the passing of time! And as the years go by, our skills are likely not as sharp as they used to be. Despite its focus on the passing years, this blog is not just about the elderly. Aging begins as soon as a person has ceased growing, with the speed of the aging process varying from one person to the next.
And whether we want to face it or not, one of the primary areas where aging has an impact is on driving. First, let’s look at three effects of aging on our eyesight, followed by tips for lessening the impact.
  1. Narrowing of the field of vision. With age, we find it increasingly difficult to properly see on both sides of the vehicle while driving. To mitigate the ensuing risks, you should place greater emphasis on carefully looking around - even it means turning your head a bit; this is especially important at intersections or in dangerous situations. 
  2. Increased likelihood of being “blinded” by glaring lights. As we age, our pupils shrink and are unable to react as quickly to changes in lighting (sometimes referred to as luminosity). Situations that are easily detected by a younger adult can be nearly impossible to see by a 40- or 60-year old. To limit glare: 
    • When you meet a vehicle while driving, look slightly to your right;
    • Decrease the brightness of your dashboard;
    • Maintain a driving speed at which the zone illuminated by your headlights allows you to react in case of a problem. 
  3. An increase in the time your eyes to adjust. As we age, our eyes take longer to send a clear image to the brain (around 3 seconds for a 45-year old adult). To mitigate the effects of this phenomenon, we need to focus on those things that are important while driving; among these are the road, highway signs and other vehicles. And as you surely know, some of the things you must NOT look at are your cellular phone, the vehicle’s multimedia display or advertising billboards along the roads. 
If you notice that your driving skills or abilities behind the wheel are not what they once were, you could begin by speaking with your doctor. Then, why not contact the nearest Tecnic driving school, where specialized trainers can provide you with tools that will let you continue to safely drive for years to come.

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