As people age they want to maintain their independence, and being able to drive is one way to remain self-sufficient. However, senior drivers can lose the physical and mental skills that once made them safe drivers. And sometimes, this loss of skill can be the cause of serious wrecks—especially those that take place in parking lots.
How Seniors Can Prevent Parking Lot Wrecks
Seniors can take steps to help avoid causing crashes in parking lots. These steps include:
- Using pull-through parking spaces. If you can find a double-empty parking space—one that has an open spot in front of another open spot—use the second open space to park your car. This will allow you to pull out when you’re ready to leave instead of backing out. Pull through parking spaces make it easier see other vehicles and pedestrians.
- Utilizing vehicle adaptations and new safety technology. There are vehicle adaptations, such as oversize rearview mirrors and adjustable foot petals, that make it easier for seniors to navigate in a parking lot and park safely. In addition, new technology such as parking assist features, collision avoidance systems, and rearview cameras can assist seniors in navigating a parking lot. Some features can be installed after a vehicle has been purchased.
- Watching for drivers backing up. Pay close attention to the back-up lights on other vehicles. Even if you’re parked in a pull through space, watch for drivers who are backing out and can’t see you or your car as well as you might see theirs.
- Shopping on lower volume days. Parking lots are sometimes less congested on certain days of the week. It may be more convenient and safer for senior drivers to shop on these days, and there are likely to be more pull through spaces available.
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