Retired Boise Police Lt. Alan Cavener recently received a Top Cop honorable mention award from the National Association of Police Organizations. It was for his actions during an incident on Interstate 84. Cavener noticed a slow-moving vehicle driven by a confused elderly driver traveling eastbound in a westbound lane. Cavener got out of his car and ran across lanes of traffic to intercept the wrong way vehicle. He got the driver to roll down his window. Cavener was then able to safely steer the vehicle to the shoulder, preventing any serious injuries to the driver or other motorists on the road.
Te situation Cavener faced calls to mind the many potential difficulties of which elderly drivers must be cognizant. The normal physical changes associated with aging, such as diminished vision and slower reflexes, can easily contribute to a motor vehicle accident if one does not take proper precautions.
There are things senior drivers can do to enhance their own and their fellow drivers’ safety on the road.
Tips for Senior Drivers
As a senior driver, it’s important to recognize your own limitations. For most of us, our eyesight starts to decline in our thirties. This makes nighttime driving much more difficult. The glare from the other cars’ headlights can make it hard to see beyond our own dash. Senior drivers also tend to have greater issues when traveling in heavy traffic, it is more difficult to be aware of everything thus the number of cars on the road increases the odds of an accident.
We think senior drivers may well benefit from taking a course aimed at mature drivers. These provide a refresher on issues such as sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists, yielding, changing lanes and what to do at a four-way stop as well as how to use newer technology such as lane departure warning systems. Polishing up the driving skills Such courses are often offered through retirement or travel associations. If the class is taught by an AAA-certified instructor, you may save money by receiving an insurance discount for completion.
Another thing to think about is when it’s time to select a new car, pay attention to the instrument panel and choose the one that is easiest for you to read. Newer cars often include information that is not important to safe operation of the car and which can introduce unnecessary distractions. It’s more important to be able to concentrate on the road than it is to have a car with all the latest bells and whistles. However, it’s worth noting that a car with a high-contrast instrument panel will be useful for drivers with diminished vision due to cataracts or glaucoma.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
While there are steps you can take to improve your own driving skills, sometimes auto accidents are caused by the mistakes of others. If you are injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, contacting a personal injury lawyer is the best way to protect your legal rights. The attorneys at Holzer Edwards are dedicated to representing Idaho residents who have been injured due to the negligence of others.