Contributed by Team Member Carole Clausen, CPT, CES, Personal Trainer

As we age, it’s normal for our driving abilities to change. You may have driven your entire life and taken pride in your safety record. Even so, it’s important to realize that your driving skills may not be as sharp as before.

Factors that impact driving include diminished vision, impaired hearing, and decreased motor reflexes. Many older adults experience a reduction in strength, coordination and flexibility, which can affect your ability to safely control a vehicle. For example:

Neck pain or stiffness impairs your ability to look left and right, or over your shoulder.

Leg pain or cramping makes it difficult to move your foot between brake and gas pedals.

Weaker arm strength causes difficulty in steering effectively.

A decrease in your ability to effectively respond to multiple signs, traffic lights, road conditions, side streets, driveways and the movements of other vehicles reduces reaction time.

If you’re concerned about changes in your abilities, a Driving Rehabilitation program can help identify warning signs, reduce risk and practice safe driving. We encourage anyone recovering from a debilitating illness, surgery or accident, to consider the Driving Rehabilitation program at Fellowship Village. Led by an occupational therapist, this program has successfully graduated applicants who did not have to turn in their car keys.

Call 908-580-3827 for more information about the program.