Hints to help drivers prepare for travel

Regular exercise and stretching can help maintain fitness and flexibility for easier driving.

Despite gas prices, millions of Americans are still taking to the road for travel and to see loved ones. This means many drivers will be taking long excursions on highways, often after the sun has set, and in varying weather conditions.

AARP wants older (and even young) drivers to know that there are many easy ways to prepare for extended car trips and highway driving situations. Below are a few tips to help make your trips as safe and enjoyable as possible.

  • Regular exercise and stretching can help maintain fitness and flexibility for easier driving.
  • Adjust your seat to make sure you can see at least three inches above the steering wheel. Keep 10 inches between your chest and the wheel while still being able to easily reach the pedals.
  • Make sure you are well-rested prior to starting any road trip.
  • Plan to take a rest stop every two hours or 100 miles to stretch and walk around. Planning trips ahead of time can make this easier.
  • Keep your car windows slightly open to hear outside sounds.
  • Maintain low conversation and music volume to prevent distraction.
  • Avoid traveling at dusk and dawn when visibility is poor.
  • When possible, drive on roads you are most familiar with.
  • Try to drive only on well-lit roadways.
  • When driving at night, looking slightly to the right of center can limit glare from oncoming vehicles.

These tips and more are available through AARP’s Driver Safety Program, both in classes and online. The course has been completed by more than 10 million people since 1979 and helps drivers age 50+ become more aware of changes that occur due to aging, and how to adjust driving accordingly.

Information on the Driver Safety Program can be found at: www.aarp.org/families/driver_safety/ or by calling 1-888-AARP NOW or 866-389-5649.


Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 4, August/September 2008.

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