Kensington Park’s Annual Speaker Series: Local Author Spotlight
Tuesday, May 21 at 2pm: Paul Dickson, Bob Levey, Dan de Vise (panel)
Spots are limited. Click HERE & RSVP Today!
Open Mobile Menu
Kensington Park’s Annual Speaker Series: Local Author Spotlight
Tuesday, May 21 at 2pm: Paul Dickson, Bob Levey, Dan de Vise (panel)
Spots are limited. Click HERE & RSVP Today!
Open Mobile Menu
senior driving safety

Staying Safe on the Road: Senior Driving Safety Tips With Kensington Park

For most seniors, driving is a significant aspect of maintaining their independence. According to the CDC, in 2020, there were 48 million licensed drivers aged 65 and older in the U.S., making senior driving safety a pivotal topic.

It is important to balance independence with safety, especially as it coincides with aging, such as worsening eyesight or memory-related issues caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s.

At Kensington Park, safety means ensuring everyone feels supported and valued. Our concierge service does more than schedule rides— it customizes transportation for any need, from grocery runs to day trips into D.C.

Residents keep their independence without the hassle of driving. We handle the details, making every outing straightforward and enjoyable. Here, prioritizing safety allows our community to thrive without limits.

That is why we’re happy to host the upcoming event, “Annual CarFit Drive-Thru” in collaboration with AAA (American Automobile Association), AARP, and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) for seniors and their families. RSVP to join us on May 16th for more senior driving tips and information.

There are a lot more to safe driving than how you drive. Having the proper fit inside your vehicle can make a big difference and help protect you and those around you.

CarFit is a national program developed by AAA, AARP, and the AOTA and is designed to give a quick, yet comprehensive check on how well an older driver and their vehicle work together.

Our promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own.

Health issues and how they affect senior driving safety

Around the age of 70, many seniors begin to experience declines in physical and cognitive functions vital for safe driving.

Vision issues, often caused by cataracts, glaucoma, or age-related macular degeneration, become more prevalent.

Additionally, cognitive decline further complicates senior driving safety. Health conditions can lead to slower reaction times, difficulty processing fact-moving or complex scenarios, and problems with memory and spatial orientation.

And while seniors are more likely to wear seatbelts, they are at a higher risk of being injured in the event of a crash.

The transition away from driving can be a sensitive issue, as it relates to their sense of mobility and independence. This is where caregivers and assisted living communities such as Kensington Park become invaluable.

By providing transportation, either by a loved one or a community, seniors can have the freedom to move around safely without the stress of driving.

Recognizing the signs: How do you know if a senior is safe to drive

How do you know it is the right time to have a conversation with your senior loved one about their driving?

Thoughtfully monitor your loved one for various signs that indicate their diminishing driving capabilities.

These signs can be categorized into physical, cognitive, and behavioral indicators.

Physical indicators

While vision issues are a well-known factor, there are other physical symptoms to be mindful of as well:

  • Slow reaction times: As reflexes slow, seniors take longer to respond to sudden changes on the road, like braking abruptly or reacting to changing traffic signals.
  • Difficulty in maneuvering the car: Challenges in physical coordination and strength, especially in seniors with weakened muscles caused by arthritis or general weakness, can result in difficulty steering the wheel or using the pedal.

Cognitive indicators

In addition to the impact of memory loss caused by dementia and Alzheimer’s, watch out for these symptoms:

  • Easily getting distracted: If your loved one has a hard time driving without getting sidetracked by conversations, radio, or other distractions, it could be a sign of declining cognitive, and driving capabilities.
  • Problems with memory and navigation: Issues with short-term memory can lead to forgetting familiar routes or missing important turns.

Behavioral indicators

These signs often reveal themselves as changes in driving patterns and may include the following:

  • Increased accidents or near-misses: A rise in minor accidents, such as scrapping cars or bumping sidewalks, is a significant red flag, indicating a decline in driving skills or judgment.
  • Difficulty following traffic rules: Struggling to understand or remember traffic signs, signals, or road markings is a critical indicator. Other signs include consistent speeding, failing to yield, backing up without looking, or improper lane changes.

Conversation tips: Discussing driving concerns with aging parents

Bringing up the conversation about driving with an aging parent or loved one requires sensitivity and care.

Here are phrases you can use to approach it compassionately:

  • “I’ve noticed a few things that worry me about your safety on the road. Can we talk about it?”
  • “When I saw how the car surprised you at the intersection, it made me worry. What did you think at that moment?”
  • “I care about you and your safety means the world to me. How do you feel about having me drive you around instead?”
  • “I read about some safe transportation services near us. Would you like to hear more about them?”

Alternative transportation options for seniors

There are many more options for safe transportation that you and your loved ones may have realized.

Here’s an overview of transportation options for seniors:

Independent Transportation Network America (ITN):

  • Offers door-to-door service for seniors.
  • Riders can schedule trips in advance or call as needed.

Public Transit:

  • Many areas offer senior discounts or even free rides.
  • Buses and trains can be a cost-effective way to get around.

Ride-Sharing and Taxis:

  • Apps like Uber and Lyft have senior-friendly options allowing drivers to assist their senior passengers.

Assisted/senior living transportation options

A benefit of transitioning your loved one into an assisted living or independent living community is that they do not have to worry about transportation. Many senior living communities, such as Kensington Park, offer concierge services for residents to go into town as they please.

Kensington Park’s Transportation Services:

  • Provides reliable rides for residents to appointments, shopping, and social events.
  • Designed to support independence without the worry of driving.

Safety tips for seniors who continue to drive

For seniors who choose to keep driving, here are a few practices to follow to enhance their safety on the road:

  • Always wear a seatbelt
  • Avoid driving in harsh weather, nighttime, or during peak traffic hours
  • Opt for daylight driving when visibility is best
  • Get regular vision tests
  • Check with health care provider to understand side effects that can affect driving
  • Plan a route ahead of time with roads with less traffic
  • Keep the car in good working condition and regularly check their brakes, tires, and lights

Discover Kensington Park: schedule a tour today

Kensington Park is located in South Kensington, Maryland, offering a comprehensive range of living options including assisted living, independent living, and memory care.

Enjoy our enriching amenities such as a diverse social events calendar, flexible all-day dining options, access to a professional medical team, and convenient transportation services.

Interested in seeing how Kensington Park can become the perfect home for your loved one?

Reach out to Kensington Park today to learn more about our offerings and arrange a personalized tour.

The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.