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The one turn that seniors should always avoid while driving

Updated on October 26, 2011

Help seniors avoid making a left hand turn


Overall seniors are very experienced and safe drivers, but as the body ages we all have limited ability to quickly look both ways while entering a busy intersection. As we age our reflexes slowly diminish, as well as our peripheral vision.

Seniors may only have the capability to look only once before pulling out, or worse they are dependent on the spouse riding shotgun, which probably has vision and hearing problems to tell them the coast is clear. Take a walk around a junk yard and you will quickly realize the high percentage of cars hit on the passenger side was caused by making a left hand turn out into oncoming traffic.

Many senior couples as well as others are involved in motor vehicle accidents each year, with many of the spouses being killed from being hit on the passenger side. A high percentage of these accidents with fatalities occur while attempting to make a left hand turn out into oncoming traffic. The major contributing factor was an oncoming car being obstructed from the windshield and car door blind spot for just for a split second. All drivers young or old should be encouraged to look at least three times and one last time to the right before making a left hand turn to pull out into traffic lanes.

If you have elderly parents or an elderly friend who are still driving please encourage them to try and avoid making left hand turns. Perhaps take a ride with them while they run their routine shopping trips and even help them map out a driving pattern which mostly utilizes only right handed turns and safer intersections without blind spots. This might be a good agenda item to add to your Holiday to do list especially if you live distances from elderly parents and you only get to see them once a year.

If a living spouse becomes ill, or passes pay particular attention to the one spouse now driving alone, as they may have become dependent on their co-pilot who is no longer there with them.

It just might save their life or the lives of others caught in the blind spot.

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    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Well said here Lizstevens. So much can and does go wrong with loss of reflexes and concentration. My Mom was terrified of making left turns when she still drove. And so were we on her behalf.

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