On our Riverside/Tejon Pass excursion, Nancy and I learned and reaffirmed some prudent rules-of-the-road for seniors. Here’s our daily checklist. How does it compare with your own guidelines?

  • Minimize contact with trucks and traffic by maximizing use of secondary roads, in the process enjoying superior air quality and scenery.
  • Keep the gas tank at least half-full to reduce the risk of running dry, especially on exploratory detours.
  • Take turns behind the wheel to stay alert, and budget hourly stops for leg stretching and bathroom breaks.
  • Utilize the non-driver as a co-pilot, monitoring the GPS screen (or checking maps) without dangerous driver distraction.
  • Minimize listening to radio broadcasts and audio tapes to retain driver concentration in unfamiliar terrain.
  • Carry and consciously consume bottled water to keep hydrated and resist the temptation of roadside sugary beverages.
  • Start each day’s driving leg at a relaxed hour to avoid departure competition and commuter congestion.
  • Stop before dusk to reduce the fatigue and shifting light which cause so many senior errors of judgment and accidents.