Older drivers shut in during the pandemic should reevaluate their skills before returning to the road

10 On Your Side

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Driving is like riding a bike; you need to keep doing it to keep your skills sharp.

“For someone to be on hiatus on lockdown for over a year now you really need to be careful getting back on the road,” Virginia GrandDriver Coordinator, Nancy Lo, told WAVY.

If you’re over the age of 60, Lo recommends you take this quick online quiz. If you answer ‘yes’ or ‘sometimes’ to any of the questions, she said that’s where you need to focus. “So maybe if you didn’t see a street sign. maybe there is an issue; maybe you have a blind spot in your vision so go get your eyes checked.”

Or if you bump into curbs when turning corners, she said technology might help. “You can actually see if there is a side camera or a backup camera, something you can adjust so you can actually drive better.”

The CarFit program can also help. It’s where experts from AARP and AAA make sure your car still fits you. “We have bone loss and we start shrinking a bit and start sitting lower and lower and lower in your seat and all of a sudden you’re peeking over the steering wheel,” Lo said.

During a CarFit 12-point check, they can boost the seat, adjust the seat belt straps, steering wheels, mirrors and pedals to make driving safer. Check here for upcoming CarFit events.

You can also boost your own confidence and maybe save some money on insurance by taking a driver refresher course.

Other things to consider: be mindful of medications and check with your doctor or pharmacist about how they might affect your driving. If needed, adjust your routine to eliminate driving at night, on highways or in bad weather.

Lo recommends above all, “If you actually feel hesitant to drive maybe there is a reason and maybe you should, you know, stop driving.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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