Healthy Start: Older Driver Safety Week

By  | 

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - This week's edition of Healthy Start features occupations therapists Jess Poland and Laurie Reichel from St. Joseph Hospital.

They talked to us today about Older Driver Safety Week.

Everyone experiences physical and mental changes as they age. Some may be so minor they go unnoticed, while others may interfere with daily life. Slower reaction time, night blindness, and pain and stiffness can affect driving skills but do not need to prohibit driving.

For example, drivers who find it painful to rotate their body to reach the seat belt can benefit from a cloth loop attached to it so they can pull the seat belt on with only slight turning. Those with stiff fingers from arthritis can depress the seat belt latch with a small tool that they leave in the car.

Even getting into and out of the car can become much easier through something like a Handybar. Taking notice of changes such as having trouble seeing at night can be remedied by choosing to restrict driving to daylight hours. Those experiencing anxiety about driving in heavy traffic may find errands to be more pleasant if they plan to drive at times other than rush hour.