Driving After 60: I Don’t Want to Do It Anymore but Can’t Let Go Either
Have you noticed as you get older that driving a car is a little more challenging? I do and frankly, if I can avoid doing it, I will. It’s not that I’ve become doddering and frail, but it just isn’t an activity I enjoy. If I could afford to hire a chauffeur, I would.
I Especially Hate Driving at Night
Driving after dark is something I dread. There are several reasons why it’s harder to see at night as we age.
Our pupils don’t shrink and dilate as fast as they did when we were younger. It’s almost as if we’re wearing sunglasses.
Sometimes the lens in our eyes gets foggy and causes a glare. Most of us who are over 50 have a pre-cataract condition that causes this to happen. It doesn’t mean you’re ready for surgery but it’s foggy enough to make you squint.
Do you ever feel like you see halos surrounding the streetlights when you drive? That may also be the result of having a foggy lens.
Another annoying condition is dry eye. Suddenly, your eyes start to tear – especially if the air conditioner or heater is on full blast.
But that’s not all that makes driving a challenge
If you’re under stress, chances are your neck and shoulders are a little stiff. When you look behind you to see if a car is in your blind spot, your range of motion may not be as flexible as it was when you were 20.
Your Love for the Road Depends on Where You Live
My hometown is Los Angeles, which is a city of freeways and traffic jams. LA is spread far and wide, so you need a car to get around. That means plowing through traffic, avoiding wacky drivers, and accelerating faster than you may be comfortable with.
I would probably stay near my home and not venture too far out unless I had to. But right now, I’m driving my partner back and forth to medical appointments because his doctors are located throughout the city.
He used to be the primary driver, but he was a wacky driver himself, and sometimes I’d offer to drive so I didn’t have to sit there in fear.
You Can Always Rent a Ride
There are plenty of Lyft and Uber drivers in LA, but the city is so huge that even though they’re more affordable than taxicabs, they still cost a pretty penny if you want to get somewhere during Prime Time.
Long-Distance Driving – the Ultimate Terror
Seven years ago, I drove from Los Angeles to Western Colorado by myself to help take care of my ailing parents. I would have flown, but I was going to be there for two months and wanted my car available. I also brought along my dog.
The drive wasn’t bad back then and I only drove during the daytime. But now, I’m not sure if I’d do it again. I might if I had a new car, but mine is old, and I’d be lost if it broke down in the middle of nowhere.
The Future Isn’t Coming Fast Enough
I’m looking forward to the day when people are transported through tubes like George Jetson, but I’m afraid I’d have to live to be 200 to experience it. In the meantime, I’ll grit my teeth, clean my sunglasses, and hope I make it from place to place without freaking out.
How often do you drive? Are you scared of driving? Do you notice vision changes with age? How do they affect your driving skills? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.