Traffic Tickets Paralegal Toronto: How Aging Affects Driving Safety

Aging is a multidimensional process of physical, psychological, and social change. Some dimensions of ageing grow and expand over time, while others decline. Reaction time, for example, may slow with age, while knowledge of world events and wisdom may expand. Aging is an important part of all human societies reflecting the biological changes that occur, but also reflecting cultural and societal conventions. Roughly 100,000 people worldwide die each day of age-related causes.

Age is measured chronologically, and a person’s birthday is often an important event. Differences are sometimes made between populations of elderly people. Divisions are sometimes made between the young old (65–74), the middle old (75–84) and the oldest old (85+). However problematic this is, chronological age does not correlate perfectly with functional age, i.e. two people may be of the same age, but differ in their mental and physical capacities.

How Aging Affects Driving Safety

  • Reduced vision — especially at night.
  • Difficulty judging distance and speed.
  • Limited movement and range of motion.
  • Slower reaction time.
  • Difficulty focusing attention for long periods of time.
  • Easily distracted.
  • More time needed to understand what we see and hear.
  • More use of prescription and/or over-the-counter drugs that may impair your driving ability.

Knowing Yourself

We all have different abilities and skills as drivers. All drivers need to be aware of both their strengths and limitations in order to make good decisions (such as when and where to drive). The important thing is to know your own level of ability.

While we age at different rates, we all experience some changes in our bodies as we get older. While many of these changes do not have a dramatic impact on our daily lives in general, they can affect driving.

Did you know that drivers often must make 8 to 12 decisions every kilometre or half mile? Sometimes, you have less than half a second to make a decision.

This means that even small age-related changes can make a big difference in driving decisions. Knowing more about how aging affects driving is the first step in keeping you on the road longer.

The following section helps you to think about some of the most important physical changes (vision, hearing, movement and reaction time) that can affect driving ability as we get older.

Deciding When to Stop Driving: Warning Signs

  1. Increasing number of near collisions.
  2. Direct involvement in minor collisions.
  3. Difficulty seeing pedestrians, objects and other vehicles.
  4. Difficulty co-ordinating hand and foot movements.
  5. Increased nervousness when behind the wheel.

Staying mobile is important to the lifestyle of today’s seniors. Growing older doesn’t mean you have to give up driving. No one loses his or her driver’s licence solely because of age.

As we get older, we change. And while the years following the age of 50 can be wonderful, some of us become hard of hearing, others need corrective lenses, and our reflexes may slow down.

Drivers should learn to recognize individual changes and adjust their driving habits accordingly. This brochure outlines some warning signs that could lead to unsafe driving and suggests steps that can be taken to keep you and other road users safe while you’re behind the wheel.

Ontario’s roads are among the safest in North America so it’s important that every road user makes road safety a personal responsibility. If you’re a senior driver, you may benefit from taking a driving course to help you stay on the road as long as you can.

Road Safety. It starts with you.



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