How to Drive When a Senior is On Board

Beating the traffic or being five minutes early is not worth it. Instead, leave a little ahead of time so you aren’t worried that you will be late.

If you’re new to driving seniors to appointments or on errands, or if this is your first time, we have some tips to share with you so you feel comfortable and have a smooth trip.

Plan your route

It’s important to let a senior know when they get in the car with you where you’re headed.

Try and plan ahead of time to get gas, but if you do need to stop somewhere before you arrive at your destination, make sure you have clear communication with your passenger so they know ahead of time.

Use your signals

Indicating where you want to turn beforehand will make other drivers more aware of your surroundings.

Always be aware of drivers on the road whether or not they use their signals.

Adjust your mirrors and know where your blind spots are in the car so there are no sudden scares.

Make sure you don’t make any sharp turns when a senior is in the car.

Maintain your vehicle

It’s important to know when you need to service your vehicle. Make sure to keep a reminder of when you should change your oil and know what your tires look like when they need to be changed.

It’s important to keep the interior of your car presentable with no odors.

Watch your speed

Be aware of the speed limit when traveling on different roads throughout your trip.

Even though a senior might not be driving, they are still aware of the rules on the road and might be looking at your odometer to make sure you are following these rules too.

If you’re approaching a yellow light slow down and stop. Do not speed up to make the light; your destination can wait.

Stick to one lane

If your destination with a senior is further than a couple miles down the road and you need to take the highway, take it easy and stay in the lane that is the farthest right.

Beating the traffic or being five minutes early is not worth it. Instead, pick them up a little ahead of time so both of you aren’t worried that you will be late.

Engage in conversation

Make it a goal to learn something new when you’re in the car with a senior. Ask them questions and enjoy their stories. Keep the radio low or to a minimum. If they want to listen to music ask them what they would like put on.

Minimize your distractions

Make any phone calls or texts messages before you get in the car with a senior and keep your phone on silent. If you need it for directions, stay hands-free with a car mount.

If you have an iPhone make sure you turn on the driving mode feature and your phone will automatically know to disable any notifications to avoid disturbance.

Drop off at the front

If you don’t have a handicap sticker, it might be difficult to find parking at the front.

Always remember to drop your senior off at the front of your destination before you park your car.

Buckle up

Make sure both of you are wearing your seatbelt. Even if you’re dropping them off at a neighbor’s house down the road, make it a strict rule in your car that can’t be compromised.

Need transportation services for seniors or older adults?

Papa Pals are available for your needs whether it’s shopping, transportation, companionship, or errands.