Column: Seniors should re-evaluate their driving skills

Subject may be sensitive but needs to be addressed

This may be a sensitive subject to some seniors, but it needs to be addressed.

Have you secretly assessed your own driving skills but are in denial of an obviously dangerous situation? Have you noticed that your judge of distance may be off? Are you wearing out your brakes? Are you swerving slightly to the left, or right?

Have you been momentarily distracted by something on the side of the road and then automatically over-corrected?

When anything like this happens, we are grateful no accident occurred. If any of this is happening more frequently it’s time to re-evaluate your driving skills.

Seniors are responsible adults, just getting a little older.

At this age we should be able to make positive decisions for all concerned. Play the tape to the end.

You got away with it this time, but it could ruin your life or that of another family next time.

How would you feel if you seriously hurt or killed someone because of your own negligence? That would be a hard thing to live with and not the way you pictured spending your golden years.

Think long and hard on this subject and be honest with yourself.

Wouldn’t life be easier if you thoroughly check this out, even if its only to satisfy your curiosity?

To start with you can go to the icbcdrivesmart.ca website and take the ‘Drive Smart Refresher Test’.

ElderCollege (1-866-734-6252) offers a driver awareness course. The next session will be in the spring of 2019, with a new calendar and registration information out by the end of November.

Retired Const. Tim Schewe, program chairman of the ElderCollege, shared this: “Road Safety BC says, currently we tend to out-live our ability to drive by 10 years”, so if we wish to continue to drive as we age, it is our responsibility to take all precautions available to maintain safe driving skills.

While we are still thinking clearly, we can make our own decisions but if we stay in denial or have a ‘this will never happen to me’ attitude, our privilege to drive may be taken away by a doctor, police officer or judge. It is so much easier to give up something on our own accord than to have it forcibly taken away.

When the time comes it will be a tough decision, but you can do it and will feel better for it.

Your everyday world may become a little smaller but keep in mind that you have lived in stressful, hectic big cities.

Isn’t that why you retired in the Oceanside area?

Enjoy the town you live in now, embrace the quiet peaceful surroundings and know in your heart that you have made some right decisions in your life, possibly saving lives.

Did you know that the bus service in Qualicum Beach is free?

Karla Reinhard writes about seniors issues for the Parksville-Qualicum Beach News.

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