After a lifetime of scraping ice off their windshield and enduring freezing temperatures, many retired people from out-of-state retreat to Florida to enjoy the sunny year-round climate. However, the Sunshine State’s busy roads can be a world of difference from the streets up north.
Here are some helpful tips for snowbirding in Florida:
- Keeping an up-to-date driver’s license
- Sticking to familiar routes
- Speaking with a doctor regarding their ability to drive
- Practicing safe driving behaviors, such as wearing a seat belt
- Abstaining from drinking and driving
By taking these simple measures, seniors can reduce their risk of a car accident and continue to enjoy the benefits of their new home.
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Snowbirds Shouldn’t Forget to Check Driver’s License Expiration
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) notes that as a person gets older, their ability to drive safely may decline over time. An individual’s risk of poor eyesight and hearing impairments increases as they age.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that some vision problems that are commonly seen in older adults include:
- Diabetes-related vision trouble
- Blurry vision
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) mandates that most driver’s licenses must be renewed every eight years. Senior citizens older than 80 years old must renew their license every six years. Each time a senior renews their license, they are required to undergo a vision test to measure this crucial sense.
While it may be disappointing to find out that you no longer can drive, carpooling with others or using rideshare apps can allow you to maintain your independence. It is better to be mildly inconvenienced than put yourself at risk of harm.
Discuss Your Ability to Drive Before Florida Snowbird Season Starts
An item on your snowbird checklist should be speaking to your doctor about health issues and concerns that might affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle.
According to the CDC, some conditions you should discuss with your doctor include:
- Trouble hearing that might affect your personal environment
- Arthritis that might make steering difficult
- Side-effects from medications that might cause drowsiness
- Fatigue that might affect alertness while driving
Your doctor may be able to offer treatments and recommendations to improve your driving ability.
Snowbirds in Florida Should Choose Familiar Driving Routes
The CDC notes that sticking to familiar driving routes and strategically using GPS navigational devices can help older drivers avoid becoming lost. Driving tips for Florida snowbirds that prevent confusion and panic in unfamiliar areas is always a good idea.
Older drivers might also consider taking a friend along on short trips that involve new travel routes or unfamiliar destinations. This is a good idea for learning “the lay of the land” while reducing stress.
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Safe Drivers Always Buckle Up Behind the Wheel
Consistent seat belt use is an important driving tip for Florida snowbirds. The CDC remarks that wearing a well-fitted seat belt can reduce the chances of serious injuries and fatalities in the event of an automobile accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that 47% of car accident victims who were killed in 2017 were not wearing a seat belt.
Snowbird Social Butterflies Must Avoid Drinking and Driving
Drivers of all ages should always avoid drinking before getting behind the wheel.
Risks associated with alcohol-impaired driving include:
- Causing injuries to yourself and others
- Losing driving privileges
- Arrest, fines, and incarceration
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that alcohol use can cause a lack of coordination, reduced response times, and a diminished capacity to make judgments while driving.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm for Help with an Accident
These driving tips can help keep older drivers safe and accident-free on Florida’s roads. However, despite your best efforts, you can still become the victim of a car crash.
If you are involved in an auto accident while driving in Florida, seek the help of a personal injury lawyer right away to ensure the at-fault driver pays for your accident-related expenses. To learn more, call The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733.