Is your Gogo or Mkhulu still driving?

by Symptom Advice on February 21, 2012

We know them and occasionally overtake the old aged drivers in our is important to know that they need patience and yelling or hooting does not help but confuses them in the [process– these are after all our Gogos and Mkhulus who still like driving. It’s a fact older drivers have a greater risk of death or serious injury in crashes for a number of reasons. As some people age, they experience vision and hearing impairments that can affect their ability to drive safely.Increased frailty can lead to a much higher risk of being killed or seriously injured if a crash does occur and some illnesses that are more common with age, and the medicines taken to treat them, can affect a person’s ability to drive safely. If you’re over 65 years of age, it’s time for you to think about how you drive, and the sorts of things that might make driving more difficult for you. Assessing your driving skills, and being aware of early warning signs is the best way to make sure you’re not putting yourself, and those you love, at risk on the road.

MoT hints for safer driving n plan your travel route to your destination and avoid very busy or confusing intersections n If you know you have a slow reaction time, avoid dangerous road and traffic conditions such as driving in:  8 rain or poor light  8 heavy traffic and poor road conditions   8 higher speed roadsn If your joints ache after an hour or more of driving, keep trips short whenever possible or take frequent stops to rest and recover n If you find it hard to turn your head to see over your shoulder, take steps to improve the flexibility of your neck by consulting your doctor or a physiotherapist n Take lots of rest breaks and if you have a long way to drive, share the driving if possible n Consult your doctor if you are having trouble sleeping as tiredness can lead to poor concentration or falling asleep at the wheel. n If making right turns at busy intersections makes you stressed or agitated, choose routes and times of travel that are easier. you may be able to find a route that has yield sign left turns at intersections.n Consult your doctor or optometrist to deal with possible vision problems. n Warning signs include – finding it harder to see at twilight, trouble seeing pedestrians, difficulty in seeing objects in the distance, strong reactions to glare n do not wear tinted glasses when driving at night without the approval of your eye specialist n Take note of your doctor or pharmacist’s advice about the possible side effects of new medicines including drowsiness and/or poor concentration. If you experience such symptoms, it is strongly advised that you not drive n a refresher course in driving and road laws may be a good way to check your capabilities as a driver and update your knowledge and skills.

Different stages of pregnancy and driving

No two pregnancies are alike so it is best to discuss your health and ability to drive during pregnancy this with your doctor.  However MoT would suggest the following:8 Travel during pregnancy can be very tiring, but if your pregnancy is normal, you should be able to travel during the first and second trimesters without too many adjustments – however each pregnancy is different.8 do take into account that morning sickness plays a vital role to your ability to drive, so monitor it and keep that in mind when adjusting your normal driving around to work or just on errands.8 be aware of problems with swelling (particularly of feet and ankles) which can adversely affect your driving experience and endanger both yourself, unborn child and other road users.8 Remember that your body undergoes major adjustments during pregnancy some of which you may not feel, so consider avoiding driving during stressful situations and weather conditions such as bad weather conditions (rain, fog, etc).8 Driving at night can also be stressful to mothers-to-be as eyesight could be diminished during pregnancy which requires the body to use extra energy, thus causing stress and fatigue.8 If you have not had any problems with your pregnancy and there are no medical reasons highlighted by your doctor or obstetrician against driving, then it is up to you and how you feel.However, during the third trimester, labour could begin at any time, your water could break or other problems could occur, so don’t plan a trip during your last month of pregnancy or drive as you normally would.  it is advisable to consult your doctor before driving during your third the time you reach the final stages of your pregnancy, your baby bump may have gotten so large that it is very close to the steering wheel.  this is neither comfortable nor safe and it will be time for you to consider getting someone else to drive you around.

Wearing seatbelts when pregnantMany expectant women complain that safety belts create additional discomfort and are not keen to wear restraints during is illegal not to wear a seat belt and no matter what stage of your pregnancy you are at, it is vital that you always wear a seat belt.Pregnancy does not automatically provide exemption from the law.Restraints are just as necessary during pregnancy, as they are when you’re not pregnant and although there is no evidence that the use of safety restraints increases the chance of fetal or uterine injury during a crash, there is still a risk of losing your baby, even if you sustain minor injuries during an accident.Wearing a safety belt will not harm your baby, which is cocooned in protective amniotic fluid.Research shows that unbelted pregnant women are more than three times likely to lose their baby in a crash, and two times as likely to have excessive maternal bleeding.Even in a minor accident, where injuries are not as severe, you still have a 5 % chance of losing your baby if unrestrained.there are medical complications that can occur to the mother as well as the baby.such as abdominal pain, complications from blood clots, fractures, and internal injuries if involved in a crash while unrestrained.How to wear a seatbelt during pregnancyIt is a common concern during pregnancy that if you wear a seatbelt it may put too much pressure on your stomach and your baby, especially in the event of an accident.However it is safer for both mum and baby if you do wear a seatbelt and is much more dangerous not to wear one at all.Whilst wearing a seat belt during pregnancy may not be comfortable, it will improve safety for both mother and baby.Moms -to-be must learn to place the seat belt in the correct position – yes, there is a correct way to wear a seat belt during pregnancy.Here’s how:place the lap-belt part of the restraint under your abdomen and across your upper thighs so it is snug and fits comfortablyDo not place the lap belt on or above your belly.As the belt will have been pulled lower than normal, adjust your sitting position so the belt crosses your shoulder without cutting into your neck.the shoulder belt should cross over your collar bone and lie between your breasts. be sure to position it so that it does not cut across your neck.Never put the shoulder belt behind your back or under your arm as this renders the restraint ineffective.when travelling in cars fitted with air bags, the front seat (whether it be the driving seat or the passenger seat) should be pushed as far back as practical.the safety belt should be worn as tight as possible (but not be uncomfortable) so that in the event of an accident, the forces applied in a sudden impact can be absorbed by the body’s frame.

Common injuries for unborn babies and their mothersInjuries unique to pregnant occupants of cars involved in collisions include:Placental abruptionUterine rupture or lacerationDirect fetal injuryThe most common type of injury is a separated placenta.  the placenta then becomes partially or completely detached, meaning that the baby cannot get enough oxygen and nutrients, which can be fatal for the baby.Potential injury risks for unborn babies in car crashes:1. Non-fatal but possible long-term consequencesSeparated placenta (most documented) Fetal distressEarly delivery Breathing and nervous system disordersDirect fetal injury Arm and leg injuries2. FatalDeath of motherSeparated placentaRuptured uterusBaby skull fracture

The air bag and pregnant driversAir bags are meant to work with seat belts to protect both driver and passengers.An inflated air bag creates a protective cushion between the driver or passenger and the steering wheel, dashboard, and windscreen.when travelling or driving, just remember to move the seat as far back as possible and tilt it slightly backwards, as this will maximise the distance between your chest and tummy and the rest of the car (dashboard, steering wheel, windscreen).As an added precaution, mums-to-be should not sit in the front seat of vehicles, but rather in the back seat (with seat belts on), which is the safest place to travel in any car.Avoid leaning or reaching forward, but rather sit back in the seat and keep the seat belt as taut as possible as this will reduce your forward movement in a crash and allow the airbag to inflate correctly.

Should you accessorise your car?

We all like being different when it comes to cars from personalised registration numbers, to mag wheels, cars that have the perfect loud system and your neighbour cannot afford to a well pimped car. well pimping your ride always sounds like a good idea at the time, but as many have found out – that joy often turns to cries of poverty when it  is time to sell that pride and joy. this warning may have come to late for other drivers but at the right time for me and some readers of MoT.South Africa’s giant auctioneer Burchmores, has cautioned that: “Car buyers are often tempted into buying alluring or sexy accessories – anything and everything from spoilers to fancy sound systems. there is a common misconception that, when the time to sell comes, this will improve the resale value of the car. but that’s simply not true!” the company’s Managing Director Darryl Jacobson warns that motorists should never expect to recoup their “investment” in accessories. “Aftermarket accessories are not investments; you should enjoy them for what they are, and never expect them to boost the value of your car,” he advises. according to Jacobson, sellers are often disappointed when – after investing E30 000 in a fancy sound system – they are only offered book value for their car. “they believe that their car should be sold for E30 000 above book, but this just doesn’t happen in the real world; a buyer will never pay a huge premium for a car with expensive accessories – we are trading in an extremely price-sensitive market,” he reveals. where accessories do assist, however, is in securing a deal. “they may well make the car easier to sell,” comments Jacobson. “After all, if the buyer can choose between two identical cars in similar condition – one with and one without a CD, it’s obvious which one he or she will select.” the one exception to this rule is a navigation system. “they are extremely popular and buyers are prepared to pay a premium. “However, it is rare to find a used car with an aftermarket navigation system; the sellers normally remove these systems and transfer them to their new cars.”  Mag wheels are also popular amongst used car buyers. “but once again, they will generally only swing a deal – a buyer won’t pay substantially more for a used car with mags,” Jacobson warns. the message therefore is clear: “If you want to spend a small fortune on aftermarket accessories, then do so – by all means. Take, for instance, the example of the sound system: invest the E30 000 and enjoy the spectacular sound that it delivers. but understand fully that, when the time comes to sell, you won’t get that E30 000 back,” the Burchmore’s MD concludes.

MoT Drivers Quiz

Driving on rainy weather, do you…?

A. Drive fast and ignore speed limit B. Overload because there are less roadblocksC. Follow road speed limitD. Drive slowly and keep a safe following distance

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