Keep Driving Longer

by Matilda Charles

Few of us want to even contemplate giving up driving, but we should. We should think long and hard because there are steps we can take to help us keep driving longer.

The American Automobile Association has put together a website full of valuable information for us:

There you’ll learn how to:

–Evaluate your driving ability: a 15-question self-rating tool, interactive driving evaluation and links to getting a professional assessment.

–Understand mind and body changes: As we age, our vision and hearing might not be as good as they once were. The medications we take can affect us, too. Our reaction times can slow, but there are ways to learn to overcome that.

–Improving driving skills: Everyday driving can become challenging for us as we age, and unexpected situations can be downright dangerous. Click on the sections with tips for handling both everyday and unexpected situations on the road. Don’t miss the link to driver-improvement courses, especially the
AAA’s Senior Defensive Driving Program. You can take the class online from home!

–Maintaining mobility and independence: One of the best things we can do to keep driving longer is to stay physically and mentally fit. Click on the physical fitness techniques link. AAA has a series of stretches and exercises designed to improve neck, shoulder, trunk, back and overall flexibility. When you consider all the twisting and turning involved in getting in and out of the car and bending to put groceries in the trunk, it makes sense that we’ll do better if we stay limber.

If you don’t have a computer, have a friend print out the brochures under Tools & Additional Resources.

Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Write to her in care of King Features Weekly Service,
P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to

(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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