AMA driving course geared toward senior drivers

Drivers in the 55-plus age group had a chance to hone their driving skills at an AMA driver education course.

Drivers in the 55-plus age group had a chance to hone their driving skills at an AMA driver education course.

Senior instructor Cathy Mantika, who taught the course held at the Drop In Centre Nov. 5 and 6, offered sound advice to senior drivers who want to keep safe on the road.

While drivers 55-plus have significant experience and are less likely to take risks behind the wheel, sometimes they need to tweak their driving habits slightly to ensure their safety and the safety of other drivers.

Driving abilities generally begin to change by age 55, but each driver has differing skills regardless of age.

Mantika noted many medications, including prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs, could interfere with a driver’s ability by making them drowsy or less attentive.

Anyone, no matter what age, who gets behind the wheel, needs to understand the physical effects of any medications taken before driving. Anyone who plans to drive a vehicle and takes more than one type of medications needs to check with their doctor to determine whether the combination produces side effects that could interfere with driving.

After 40, vision begins to change and the amount of light needed to drive nearly doubles every 13 years. To see clearly, a 60-year-old requires 10 times as much light as a teenager.

The eye’s ability to focus slows with age. A teenager takes about two seconds to focus on an object close to them and then to one farther away, yet a 40-year-old takes three or more seconds to focus his eyes from the speedometer to the road.

Sensitivity to glare increases as a person ages as well. At age 55, it takes eight times longer to recover from glare than at age 16. Color, especially red, becomes less bright and harder to see as one ages. As well, peripheral vision narrows and depth perception lessens, making it more difficult to determine how fast other vehicles are traveling.

Mantika also cautioned seniors about the perils of drinking and driving.

“I’m not here to preach about alcohol, but if we expect the young drivers in our family to have a designated driver, why shouldn’t we as well if we have had a drink?”

A 15-question self-rating quiz taken privately which asks about driving skills and habit and provides suggestions for improvement of risk driving practices can be accessed at ama.ab.ca/AgingDrivers or at any AMA centre by asking for the Drivers 55Plus: Check Your Own Performance booklet.

Just Posted

Dress up 50s/60s rock style for Rock ‘N Rimbey

Decoration, dress-up contest runs all week in Rimbey

Rimbey area producers should keep cattle comfortable this summer

Options for cattle producers dealing with hot, windy conditions to pests

Video games don’t cause mass shootings

No link ever found between violence and video games

Rimbey musician to play at Vault for Rock ‘n Rimbey

Tyson Prior excited he will be doing what he loves best at Rock’n Rimbey

Fashion Fridays: How to dress and feel powerful

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

What could be next? Five questions in the SNC-Lavalin saga

Will police lay charges? Will report resonate with voters? Will Jody Wilson-Raybould get re-elected?

Alberta government strikes panel to advise on wage cut for alcohol servers

Panel is tasked with consolidating existing studies on the effects of a minimum-wage increase

‘Tips on steroids:’ Social media both a help, hurdle for Canadian police investigations

More than 1,000 tips were received by police in the hunt for fugitives Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky

B.C. homicide victim’s brother says he may never know why she was killed

Stetson Deese the family is preparing for the possibility they’ll be left in the dark on motive

Alleged child porn upload to internet leads to charges against Edmonton doctor

Police say the 47-year-old man was arrested Aug. 11 after an investigation

Alberta, Saskatchewan say they have no plans to put carbon tax stickers on pumps

The federal government has imposed a carbon tax on Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick

Trudeau should apologize for violation of ethics code: Philpott

Independent MP Jane Philpott says she took a stand based on principle over SNC-Lavalin controversy

Most Read