Deciding whether or not you are a safe driver

Are you driving less these days because youre not as sure about your driving skills as you used to be? Maybe you already know of some driving situations that are hard for you nights, highways, rush hours, or bad weather. Have you considered changing your driving habits to avoid them? Older drivers are most at risk when yielding the right of way, turning (especially making left turns), changing lanes, passing, and using expressway ramps. Pay special attention at those times. We all age differently so there is no way to say what age should be the upper limit for driving. How will you know if you should stop driving? Ask yourself these questions: Do other drivers often honk at me? Have I had some accidents, even "fender benders? Do I get lost, even on roads I know? Do cars or people walking seem to appear out of nowhere? Have family, friends, or my doctor said they are worried about my driving? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should think seriously about whether or not you are still a safe driver. If you answered no to all these questions, don't forget to have your eyes and ears checked regularly. Talk to your doctor about any changes to your health that could affect your ability to drive safely. Have you considered no longer driving yourself but are concerned taking a taxi would be too expensive? Well, think about this: AAA now estimates the average cost of owning and running a car is about $6,420 a year. So, by giving up your car, you might have as much as $123 a week to use for taxis, buses, or to buy gas for friends and relatives who can drive you! The Senior Connection is a column provided by the Clinton County Office for the Aging. For more information about services for senior citizens, contact their office at 135 Margaret St., Suite 105, Plattsburgh or call them at 565-4620.

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