Don’t Wait to Have “The Talk”

Is It Time To Hand Over Those Keys?

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When is the right time to tell a senior loved one that their days behind the wheel are lessening with each passing day?

According to statistics, there are approximately 33 million drivers over the age of 65 regularly operating a motor vehicle in the United States. The majority of these motorists are injured daily from driving-related accidents; some even killed.

Because of medical complications, disabilities, a decline in vision and cognitive functions, the risk of vehicular fatalities increases significantly after the age of 75.

Although these are plenty of reasons to be off the road completely, telling someone who has been driving for as long as they can remember isn’t exactly the easiest conversation to have. In fact, according to a new study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the CU College of Nursing, clinicians often wait too long before having “the talk.”

Based on a study conducted by Dr. Marian Betz, researchers found that most of the more mature and seasoned drivers were open to being approached earlier with driving retirement. It allows them more than enough time to process and prepare in the event they become incapable to drive.

Several states have considered instituting an elderly driving law, requiring individuals to be retested behind the wheel after a certain age.

Seeing Red

Road Rage: Do You Have It In You?

s1roadrage_web_2Road rage. We all have a little bit in us. No? Remember that time when the vehicle in front of you was driving so obnoxiously slow that if you got out of your car and walked, you’d probably make it to your destination a lot faster? Or how about the driver who continuously slammed on his breaks causing you to do the same, for absolutely no reason at all? Yes, I’m sure you remember moments like this. You may even remember how you felt, the choice of words you used, and the amount of frustration endured. However, some of us choose to take this anger and act upon it in ways that presents not only self-danger, but danger to other motorists on the road as well.

Road rage is defined as aggressive or angry behavior by a driver of an automobile or other motor vehicle. Such behavior might include rude gestures, verbal insults, deliberately driving in an unsafe or threatening manner, or making threats. Road rage can lead to altercations, assaults, and collisions which result in injuries and even deaths.

So, if you are ever confronted with an aggressive driver, what should you do?

1. Avoid direct eye contact with a driver who appears to be agitated. Many people associate eye contact with a challenge or threat. Even a friendly smile can be misinterpreted as a sarcastic threat.

2. Put Your Pride Aside. Do not challenge them by speeding up or attempting to hold-your-own in your travel lane.

3. Gestures. Ignore gestures and refuse to return them.

4. Report Serious Aggressive Driving. You or a passenger may call the police. But, if you use a cell phone, pull over to a safe location.

Aggressive driving contributes to 56 percent of all fatal car crashes, so next time think twice before you react!

(Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Attention Drivers

Apple’s iOS Is Now At Your Fingertips

iOS_Car_02-webWell, next year anyway.  Apple announced that they are in the process of enhancing iPhone integration in cars with its latest software update, iOS 7, referring to it as the ‘iOS in the Car’ feature at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Automakers such as Acura, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Opel, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Volvo are amongst the vehicles that will offer the new ‘iOS in the Car’ feature, which will allow drivers to access key functions on their iPhone via the dashboard screen. You’ll be able to make phone calls, play music, display Apple Maps and receive iMessages, either by using the car’s controls or by giving voice commands to Siri through the car’s sound system.

“Ninety-five percent of cars sold today have integrated music playback and control from an iOS device, but we want to take this integration to a whole ’nother level,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of software and services.

And if that wasn’t reason enough to take advantage of the new feature that will be available through selected vehicles in 2014, then perhaps this might…as part of Apple’s Eyes Free feature set, Siri can read iMessages aloud and transcribe responses as well!

Supervision Required

Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Kids Alone in the Car

Where's Baby?  Look Before you Lock
Sure, you’re only dropping some mail off at the post office, grabbing some milk from the grocery store, or picking up the dry cleaning. I mean there’s no harm in that right, especially when it only requires a couple minutes of your time, so leaving your child in the car for just a moment should be fine, right? Wrong! According to Safe Kids, 30 children die each year when they are left unsupervised in the car. It only takes seconds for something horrific to happen.

Not only is it scary for a small child to be left alone, but your vehicle’s temperature can change dramatically, and very quickly, which can affect your child’s oxygen levels, and in some cases causing hyperthermia and/or suffocation.

Aside from temperature changes, inadvertent gear-shift crashes, locking parents out of the car, trunk entrapments, or getting limbs caught in the windows, are just some of the many possible dangers leaving a child unattended in a vehicle could lead to. This is considered a misdemeanor offense; the offense can become a felony if there are resulting injuries.

Waking up a sleeping child or getting a toddler out of a car seat in the freezing cold or rain can be quite a hassle, so it’s understandable why many parents fall victim to this. But, if you need money, find a drive through ATM. If you need gas, use a credit card at the pump, or find a full-service station. Whatever you do, just don’t leave your child in the car alone!