Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Is It Time To Stop Driving?

A major problem with advancing years is the increasing difficulty in driving. Vision issues, reflexes, pains and infirmities all collude to make this essential part of life increasingly difficult. Besides the practical problems that not driving presents, there is also the depression that often sets in as you feel that your freedom has been curtailed. Continuing to drive when it is no longer safe to do so because of age-related issues is one of the major causes of accidents among senior citizens.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay
The Risk

•  Vision provides approximately 85% of the inputs a driver needs to drive safely and by the age of 60, eyesight is generally weak.

•  At the age of 60, a person needs ten times more light to drive than a person aged 20.

•  At the age of 55, the time required for the eyes to recover from glare is eight-time longer than for an 18-year-old.

•  Older drivers need twice as much time to react to the flash of brake lights as compared to younger drivers.

The Problems

A study conducted by the Department of Transportation says that seniors continue to drive for as long as possible because of the unavailability of or inconvenience related to using public transport. The sad fact is that 50% of Americans over the age of 65 do not have access to public transportation. Depending on relatives and friends to take you where you need to go is awkward and often embarrassing.  Also, those you depend on may not be free at times that work for you. Using taxis or limos is not just expensive; there are practical issues too, especially for those using walkers or wheelchairs: Some questions that might arise.

• Is getting in and out of the vehicle easy?

• Can the wheelchair or walker be carried?

• Does the driver understand your age-related issues and needs?

• Will the driver help with any luggage or bags you may have?

• Do you have to book the transport in advance?

The Department of Transportation study also says that “Next to health, transportation is the most important issue for seniors.” There is no reason to allow not being able to drive to affect to quality of your life.

The Solution

When driving is no longer safe or viable, and public transport is not available or is a problem (i.e. getting in and out of taxis), there is a safe, convenient and cost-effective alternative available to seniors, including those with health and/or mobility issues. A professional Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) service that is dedicated to providing users with the best care and transportation services, is the ideal solution. A company of this kind will have specially equipped vehicles to carry those with health and mobility issues to where they need to go when they want to go. The drivers are trained in caring for their elderly or mobility-impaired passengers. Offering doorstep pickup, event standby, and other services, this is the best way to retain independence when driving is no longer possible. If driving is a problem for you or for a loved one, check out a NEMT service in your area.