Over the last few years I have noticed that I am not as comfortable driving after dark, but still ok – or so I thought.
During a quick trip up to see my son Blake for his birthday, I found myself headed back home between Austin and Houston during the late evening. The roads were good and the weather was clear, and I was wide awake. I found myself having trouble seeing very far ahead so I became comfortable staying in the far right lane. I was officially one of those little old ladies who drove the speed limit for miles and miles.
About half way home I could see some lights up ahead. As I approached I was not real sure what they were, but I thought they were a flashing highway warning sign. So, I slowed down and hunkered into that forever safe right lane until I got closer. Well, by the time that I was close enough to see that a police officer had someone pulled over on the shoulder it seemed too late to scoot over to the left. It was a big mistake according to the officer who pulled me over for not moving to the left and a bigger mistake on my conscience. I would never have forgiven myself had I even inadvertently hurt someone!
So, no further than the neighborhood grocery store for me after the sun sets.
As we age be aware that how, where and what we drive can sometimes need just a little adjusting.
Most of us are fine in our existing vehicles, here are some easy items that you can double check to help keep you safe:
* Visibility: Be sure your seat is adjusted correctly. Drivers should be able to see at least 10 feet in front of the vehicle. Headlights should be aimed at the roadway. A mechanic can determine if they are aimed and aligned right.
* Check with an ophthalmologist to be sure your eyeglasses are correct.
* If your night vision is less than it once was, drive only during the day. Arrange your activities so you are not caught outside at dark. You still have your independence, but remember: safety comes first.
* Ease of entry. When you are having trouble getting in and out of a car with low seats consider buying a SUV or a minivan which has higher seats.
* Ease of driving. Almost all cars have power steering today, which takes much less strength to guide the car. An automatic transmission is easier to drive than a stick shift, even if the stick shift is thought to be sportier.
Many people feel that small cars are easier to drive. If your big car no longer seems comfortable, a smaller car might be better (and more comfortable) for you.
For more tips, go to www.ThatCarLady.com