Safe Driving Senior Citizen

Safe Driving Senior Citizen tips for increasing your safety when driving.

One of the major problems for drivers as they age is that their bodies become less flexible. It is harder to turn and check distance when parking or check a right side intersection for oncoming cars. Someone is is not very flexible becomes fatigued more quickly. They may find it a bit difficult to brake hard in an emergency or to slip in and out of the car easily.

The good news is that flexibility can be improved...sometimes dramatically. Here are a few simple movements that have been shown to improve the flexibility of older drivers. Here are some simple exercises you can do to make Safe Driving Senior Citizen improvements.

  1. Look forward. Now bend your head forwards so your chin touches your chest. Do not move any other part of your body while doing this exercise. Then tilt your head back so that your forehead faces the ceiling. Do this 5 times. Slow is better than fast. Do not strain, especially when bending your head backwards. Over time you neck will become more flexible. Congratulations!
  2. Head turns: Hold you head upright. Now turn your head as far to the right as you can. Then turn it to the left as far as it will go. Again, do not strain. The aim is to give a gentle stretch so you muscles become more flexible. This will make you a Safe Driving Senior.
  3. Side head bending. Look straight head and bring the top of your earlobe down toward you shoulder. Keep your head. Do not turn you head...lest strain yourself. Keep looking straight ahead. Some drivers find that it is easier to do this on one side or the other. With practice you will improve.
  4. Chin tucks. Nod your head so your chin moves toward your chest. When you straighten up, try to get your ears to be directly over your shoulders. Repeat.
  5. Rotation of your trunk. Sit straight so you are not hunched over. Now turn your trunk as far as you can to the left - a 90 degree turn means you will be looking straight out to the side. Come back to center. Now turn the other way. Keep your hips still while you do these turns. It is just your upper body you want to stretch.
  6. Back stretch. (Do not do this is you have problems with low back pain. Check with your health care provider first.) Lie on your belly on the floor or your mattress. Place your hands under your shoulders. Push up with your hands and allow your face and upper body come up off the mattress. Lower yourself. (Be sure that your waist and hip bones stay on the flat surface when you do this exercise.)
  7. Do each of the above stretches 3 -5 times a day. Every day. In as little as two weeks you will begin to notice an improvement. You will be able to get in and out of the car more easily. It will be easier to parallel park, to back your car or to check your mirror before changing lanes.

    Click here for more Safe Driving Senior Citizen information

    or if you are considering giving up driving (or others are suggesting that you do) go to Senior Transportation

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    The information on this page was adapted from AAA Foundation leaflet for Senior drivers.

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