Safe Driving Senior Citizen
Safe Driving Senior Citizen tips for increasing safety as we age..
One of the major problems for older drivers is that our bodies become less flexible. It becomes more difficult to turn and check distances when parking or to check the right side for oncoming cars at an intersection. Also, those who are not flexible become fatigued more quickly. We may find it a bit difficult to brake hard in an emergency or to slip in and out of our car easily when needed.
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. You can practice these to make your Safe Driving Senior Citizen improvements.
- Improving neck flexibility. 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. Then tilt your head back so that your forehead faces the ceiling. Do this movement 5 times. Slow is better than fast. But don't strain, especially when bending your head
backwards. Over time you neck will become more flexible.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
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. These exercises will help make you a Safe Driving Senior.
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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Note: The information on this page was adapted from an AAA Foundation leaflet for Senior drivers.