Driving beyond middle age… when things change

We all like to think we will always have the same physical abilities we had when we were younger, only to find out at some stage on our journey is that it is just an illusion!

Safe driving does not come naturally. When you have bad/risky driving habits, you won’t become a safe driver automatically over time, unless they take action to change it. If you don’t, you will just become an old driver with bad habits. The type most people want to avoid!

Humans operate over ninety percent on autopilot. We use less than ten percent on active decision-making. It is also important to know that the subconscious mind cannot not tell apart between what is real and what is not. A driver may miss seeing objects on the road as large as a train or truck if her/his mind believes it is not there!

We need to teach our minds to expect dangers on the road. The good news is just as with exercise we are able to reverse this process and become safer at driving.

A few common factors seem to appear on most crash reports and it include drivers of all ages. These are poor observation, poor handling, poor judgement, failing to give way, and inappropriate speed for the conditions.

Most drivers in these crashes did not wilfully do the things mentioned in the previous paragraph. They are drivers like you and me and may generally be careful drivers. The road safety system now acknowledges that people are vulnerable and do make mistakes.

There are so much more happening on our roads nowadays, that we need to manage our actions better to minimize risk. A good start is to attend a FREE mature driver refreshes session in your township. We usually run these sessions once a month.

The sessions are about two hours long.

We will cover the following topics:

  • Poor observation/ distractions (mind)
  • Passing and merging lanes
  • Tailgaters and road rage
  • Driving at night or low light conditions
  • Route planning
  • Roundabouts, and
  • Other common issues.

Contact Daniel on 03-687 7235 or email Daniel.Naude@timdc.govt.nz to sign up.

Safer journeys!

Daniel Naudé

South Canterbury road safety coordinator