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Age-related changes reduce safe-driving abilities

Age is one thing that cannot be avoided, not if it means remaining alive. The only thing drivers can do is become familiar with the physical and mental changes and take the necessary steps to continue the safe operation of their vehicles. In most cases, these changes happen slowly, often not noticed until they already pose driving risks. 

Vision deterioration

The Canadian Automobile Association and other entities, including Health Canada and the Canadian Medical Association, explain how vision changes affect safe driving. Older drivers might need more light and a narrower field of view to focus. These agencies explain the effects of the following vision changes. 

Changing field of view and focus

Drivers should have professional eye tests done as soon as they notice vision changes. Corrective eye surgery or lenses would correct farsightedness, nearsightedness or both. 

Night driving

British Columbia drivers must have their vision and health examined every two years from age 80 and beyond. However, eye exams are not done at night, and drivers must tell opticians if they experience vision problems while driving in the dark. 

The pupils of older eyes get smaller and lesser dilation in the dark jeopardizes vision at night. That could cause the inability to see the movement of people or animals along the sides of the road, and drivers might have problems with the glare of headlights and lights reflecting off road signs. 

Other age-related vision problems

Frequent eye examinations could pick up any of the following: 

  • Glaucoma 
  • Cataracts 
  • Macular degeneration 

Senior drivers in British Columbia who take trips to destinations south of the border must be cautious. Dealing with cross-border personal injury insurance and legal claims is significantly more complicated than when only Canadian laws and regulations are in play. 

 

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