Senior Care in Washington DC
If you are like most family caregivers, driving is something that you do virtually every day of your senior care journey. Driving is how you are able to handle all of the tasks that you need to complete for your aging parent as well as your children and yourself. While multitasking is something that you might be able to incorporate into some of your daily tasks to improve efficiency, driving should not be one of those situations. Tackling several things at once can help you to get more done on a regular basis, but if you are doing it while driving, it is putting you, your passengers, and everyone else on the road in danger.
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the ideal opportunity for you to recognize unsafe practices and adopt safer habits. Some things that you should know about distracted driving and its impact on safety include:
- More than 3000 people are killed and more than 430,000 people are injured each year in crashes caused by distracted drivers.
- Around 30 percent of drivers regularly utilize handheld devices such as text messaging on phones.
- 75 percent of drivers admit to regularly seeing other drivers text messaging.
- The average text messaging interaction, such as checking or sending a message, takes five seconds. This means that each time you check or send a text message, it is like driving several hundred yards with your eyes closed.
- Distracted driving becomes even more dangerous when it occurs at the same time as distracted walking, which usually happens when text messaging or browsing the internet on a phone.
There are many activities that are considered “distracted driving” activities. These include:
- Changing songs on an MP3 player, radio, or CD player
- Sending or reading text messages
- Watching videos
- Reading, including books, magazines, phone or computer screens, or even maps
- Making phone calls
- Inputting information into a navigation system
- Turning to talk to others in the car
- Brushing hair
- Applying makeup
- Changing clothing
- Squinting to read a sign
- Cognitive limitations that impact the ability to concentrate or understand the process of driving
Of course, distracted driving is not just something that may impact you. If your aging parent is still driving, distracted driving can be a serious problem for him as well. Try these tips for helping you to handle distracted driving in your senior care journey with your parent:
- Insist that he does not use his phone or mobile device for any reason when driving.
- Consider making it a rule that he puts his phone on the back seat or in the glove compartment when driving.
- Set his favorite channels on the radio and insist that he does not change them unless the car is not moving.
- Make sure that he uses his hearing aid if he wears one, and his glasses or contacts at all times when driving.
- If he is suffering from cognitive limitations, do not allow him to drive any longer. Hire a senior health care services provider who can provide reliable, safe transportation to wherever he needs or wants to go.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Washington DC, please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.