Labor Day is September 1 and the holiday offers thousands of seniors around the nation one more reason to do some traveling. Though travelers flock to the skies and railways as we bid summer goodbye, 90 percent of them will travel by car. Staying safe on the road is increasingly important, especially for seniors driving long distances.
Though a flat tire may not seem like a big deal, experiencing that flat on a lonely darkened highway can quickly turn that scenario into a major problem. As with most things in life, preparation is key to survival So,without further ado, here are a few safety tips to help older drivers as they navigate the holiday hustle and bustle.
- Always carry an emergency kit in the car: No matter the time of year, drivers face plenty of highway hazards. Holidays, however, drive the number of potential hazards up to frightening levels. Seniors can prepare for minor emergencies by carrying a safety kit in their cars at all times. Remember to include: blankets, road flares, a flashlight, a small first aid kit, jumper cables, a spare cell phone battery, wooden matches, bottled water and some non-perishable snacks.
- Get a pre-travel tune-up: When cars break down, it can quickly turn into a life or death situation. Seniors can minimize the chances of being stranded in the middle of nowhere by simply getting a quick and affordable automobile tune-up before leaving town. Mechanics generally check fluid levels, air pressure in all four tires, change oil and oil filter and windshield wipers. If any fluid levels are found to be low, they’ll top them off and make sure the car is running properly.
- Don’t get distracted: Thousands of car crashes are caused by driver distraction. In fact, an estimated 25 percent of all accidents occur when people are distracted. For older drivers, remaining alert and vigilant is absolutely essential. That’s because seniors usually have varying degrees of diminished eyesight, hearing or reaction time. For those reasons alone, seniors must be on top of their driving game – especially when traveling on holidays like Labor Day. That means no cell phones, reading maps or entering data into a GPS while driving.
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