After being on the road for a long time, it may be challenging to give up the independence that comes with driving. Still, driving becomes risky as we age, and it may take a while to come to terms with this. Unfortunately, older drivers are more likely to receive citations than younger drivers, even though you have much more experience. Fatal crash rates also increase with age.
This is often due to limited eyesight and hearing that many experience, as well as varying levels of concentration ability. Mobility issues and chronic pain also make it difficult to drive, like looking over one’s shoulder or even moving between the gas and the brake pedals. While it’s certainly tough for some, acknowledge that it may be unsafe for you to continue driving and make the transition to being a passenger. This will keep you, and everyone else on the road, infinitely safer.
Available Transportation Services
Luckily for older adults looking to transition away from driving, there are many options available. With some small adjustments, you will still enjoy easy access to transportation and won’t lose the independence you had when driving yourself.
- Loved ones: Loved ones are a great resource! In a pinch, a free ride from a friend or family member who happens to be available might be the easiest option. However, it might not always be easy to schedule rides with them, so having other options available will avoid confusion.
- Public transportation: Public transportation is generally affordable and operates on a wide network However, you will have to do some additional walking, which can be difficult if you experience mobility challenges.
- Faith-based or community organizations: These organizations often have initiatives for older members of the community and are usually free of charge. They are especially 2convenient for local rides.
- Rideshare Apps: Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft operate all across the US and are a convenient option. Uber is working to make its services more accessible for those with mobility issues and allows users to request drivers that have wheelchair training. These apps are great for finding quick and convenient rides for once-in-a-while excursions.
- Dial 211: Dialing 211 connects the caller to a non-emergency line with city resources. This is a great start to discover the available resources specific to the region you live in. Lyft is partnering with United Way to use these lines to provide rides for older adults that cannot use public transportation. However, rides may not be available in all area.
- Roundtrip: Designed for healthcare providers, Roundtrip is a service that avoids the confusion of figuring out other options and offers comprehensive non-emergency medical transportation via an easy-to-use online platform. It connects patients with all of the available options, from traditional rideshares to stretcher vehicles. Roundtrip streamlines the ride-booking process, so you and your healthcare provider can save time and focus on staying healthy. This is a great d option if you are experiencing a prolonged health issue that requires more visits to the doctor than usual.
While you may crave the independence and convenience of driving, it sometimes just isn’t possible. Finding and utilizing the many available transportation options will help you keep your independence without compromising your safety.