Driving Safely During the Christmas Season

As everyone hustles and bustles to and fro during the Christmas season, it’s important to be mindful of how we drive.  Did you know that each year the first week in December is designated to older adult driver safety awareness?  This is because as we age there are physical, mental and sensory changes that occur within our body.  These changes can have many effects on our daily lives, including how we drive a car.   It’s important to be aware of what these changes might be so that you can safely get where you need to go. 

During this Christmas season, before you run out to purchase your gifts or attend the holiday parties, stop and take a moment to see how you are feeling.  Checking in with your body and seeing how you feel each day is important.  If you started a new medication recently or noticed that your walking is a little bit off, consider calling your healthcare provider to see if this is a normal way to feel on this medication.  Our healthcare providers don’t know how we are feeling unless we tell them. 

As you make your plans during this Christmas season, if you notice you aren’t feeling quite yourself and don’t feel comfortable driving, here are some tips to help you still be able to accomplish all you need to do before Christmas. 

  • Try phoning a friend or neighbor to see if you can get a ride with them.
  • Be sure to know the route you will be driving before you leave your home.  This will help to avoid confusion and anxiety about where you are going. 
  • If you are going to a new place, leave a few minutes early so you can be sure to have plenty of time to get there.
  • Drive during daylight as much as possible.  If you wear glasses, be sure to place them near your car keys so you don’t forget them. 
  • Avoid driving in bad weather conditions.
  • Limit distractions while driving by muting your cellphone, paying attention to the road and lower the radio.
  • Be sure to wear your seat belt, every single time.  Even on quick trips, wearing a seat belt can save your life or the life of someone else.

Being prepared is one of the best ways to practice safe driving.  As you go about your Christmas season, take steps to be sure you are driving as safely as possible.

Wishing you a happy, healthy Christmas season and Happy New Year!

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