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5 Tips to Help Seniors Stay Safe on the Road

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Summer brings warmer and longer days, delicious fresh fruit, and numerous outdoor events, however, it also brings with it unique driving hazards. If your senior loved one still gets behind the wheel regularly, Home Care Assistance Fairfield recommends sharing these tips to help him or her stay safe while on the road.

1. Summer heat can make interior car temperature lethal.

According to the National Weather Service, steering wheels and car seats can heat up to 200°F during summer! It takes only two minutes for a parked car to reach an unsafe temperature. Ensure that your car’s air-conditioning system is working properly. After parking, put a sunshade across your front windshield to reduce heat retention. Don’t leave children or pets alone in your car.

2. Dehydration downgrades driving ability.

A study in Physiology and Behavior found that dehydration leads to driving errors. Our brains don’t function well on inadequate fluid. As a result, driving skills are impaired, including concentration, decision-making, and reaction time. You may find yourself drifting into opposing lanes, not breaking fast enough, missing signs, or veering onto a highway shoulder.

3. Road construction is more widespread.

Summer is prime time for highway maintenance. Road crews are busy filling potholes, repainting road lines, repaving surfaces, and widening highways. Construction work zones are common areas of driving fatalities, according to the CDC. Heed the signs posted for construction zones. Follow the directions of highway flaggers, and drive past them carefully.

4. Motorcycles and bikes come out of storage.

Driving near cyclists is dangerous for several reasons. Bikers don’t always signal their intentions. Unanticipated moves can result in collisions. Cyclists are also vulnerable to being smacked by the car doors of exiting drivers. To avoid injuring a cyclist, check mirrors and look around before getting out of your car, give bikers 3 feet of clearance on roads, and slow down when driving past bikers. When driving behind them, increase your stopping distance.

5. Animals are more active.

The risk of hitting an animal is greater during summer. Fatalities increase among squirrels, deer, and moose. Take note of animal crossing signs, and be more watchful in these areas. Be especially cautious during the hours of 5am-8am and 5pm-12am. At these times, turn on your high beams and drive more slowly.

Learn more about keeping your aging relative safe year round from our friendly and experienced staff. We are known for our comprehensive dementia and Alzheimer’s care in Fairfield, but we also offer flexible hourly and live-in care. All of our caregivers are expertly trained, our Care Managers are on-call 24/7, and we never require clients to sign long-term contracts. For more information, call Home Care Assistance at 203-955-1915 and request your free in-home consultation today.