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Is walking always safer than driving for senior citizens?

You may be thinking about hanging up the car keys as you have gotten older, or maybe you are a younger person considering whether it is time to have that difficult conversation with parents or grandparents. Fortunately, making the transition from driving to other forms of transportation can be easier if you live close to public transportation and in walkable neighborhoods.

However, it is important to point out that walking when you are older has its share of risks, especially in many Florida communities. In fact, Florida has nine cities in the top 20 most deadly cities for pedestrians, and they are all in the top 11. Part of this is due to poor street design, but age is a factor as well.

False sense of security

Walking can give you a false sense of security, especially if all you have heard about is how unsafe it can be for older people to drive. For example, their reaction times could have slowed, and impairments such as limited neck mobility could mean that they cannot check blind spots. So, walking can seem like a safer option while giving you a fair measure of the independence that driving did.

The truth is that walking can indeed be safer than driving, but it helps greatly to anticipate the risks you might encounter as a pedestrian. If you decided to stop driving because your eyesight is not what it once was, how can you ensure that limited visibility is not a factor on your walks either? Perhaps you could avoid walking in dim light, for example, or use a service dog. Similarly, if you are on medication, be aware that it can have an effect like that of alcohol, perhaps further slowing your reaction time. A talk with your doctor about the best times for you to walk might be in order.

The good news is that walking is wonderful exercise and can be a fun social activity. As long as you take steps to mitigate any risks you incur while walking, it can be a much safer alternative to driving.

 

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King Law Firm Ocala Personal Injury

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