Category: Driving

May 30

All of us, able-bodied or not, need to do more to keep ourselves and those around us safe on the road. Here are tips from The National Safety Council for reducing or eliminating blind spots by adjusting your car mirrors:

1) Sitting in your parked car, lean toward the driver’s-side window until the top of your head just touches the glass. Now, adjust the mirror so you can see just the tip of your left rear bumper.

2) Lean toward the center of the car and adjust the passenger-side mirror so you can see just the tip of your right rear bumper.

3) Sitting upright in the driver’s seat and glancing into the side-view mirrors, you now should have clear views of the lanes on either side of your car and not be able to see your car at all.

Traffic leaving your sight in your rear-view mirror now will pop into sight in your side mirror. And when it vanishes from view in the side mirror, you now should be able to pick it up with your peripheral vision.

To change lanes or merge with on-coming traffic you need only to tip or turn your head slightly, without needing to twist your head and shoulders to see traffic behind you.

May 28

The average 50-year-old driver needs twice as much light to see at night as a 30-year-old driver. Yet few of us do what is necessary to compensate for the reduction in night-time acuity that occurs in the aging eye.

As we age, changes in driving habits are crucial, and so are adjustments at home to prevent the all-too-common accidents that land older people in the hospital.

Traffic deaths are three times greater after dark than during the day, though only 20 percent of driving is done after dark. Fatigue and alcohol are two important causes, but experts say the biggest factor is darkness. Ninety percent of a driver’s reaction depends on vision and, unlike cats, we’re just not engineered to see well in the dark.

The National Safety Council suggests this to improve vision when driving at night, however old you are: Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 12

New research shows that getting older does not mean that older people are worse drivers or that they are far more likely to crash, Tara Parker-Pope reports in this story in The New York Times.

Drivers over 70 are keeping their licenses longer and driving more than earlier generations, a trend that led to dire predictions about car accident risks for aging baby boomers.

But the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says fatal car accidents involving older drivers have actually declined markedly in the past decade.

“It’s not what people had expected to see,” said Anne T. McCartt, senior vice president for research at the insurance institute.

Dec 13

Many of us don’t appreciate physical conveniences until our bodies make it difficult for us to accomplish even the routine of daily life.

Cait has been rather immobile as of late and the inability to run errands and stay on top of her life was giving her Cabin Fever far too early in the season.

Riding in the car was fine. But the getting in and out was hell, especially when it came to slippery parking lots and unsanded sidewalks.

So she looked at what she needed to do, organized her route and in one drive took herself to breakfast, the bank, the pharmacy and the mailbox at the post office – all of which had drive-ups.

The drive-ups got her out and about, she listened to a good music CD she had just burned on her computer and her dogs got to ride through the Big Wide World, which ranks high on their entertainment list.

When Cait first moved from Canada to the United States, she dismissed this country’s many drive-ups as conveniences for lazy people – not that there is anything wrong with being lazy!

These days, however, it’s not much of a stretch to say that Cait finds drive-ups a life-sustaining necessity.

Sep 19

Great Britain is so far ahead of most other countries when it comes to being Gimpy friendly and it appears they have claimed another first.

The BBNav, with a 4.3-inch touch screen and hands-free Bluetooth calling capabilities, is a navigation device with information on 40,000 Gimpy points of interest in 150 cities and towns in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

nav-2.png

Let’s say you’re headed through Surrey, England, toward a long weekend in London. Touch the screen and the BBNav will show you every Gimpy friendly parking spot, bathroom, boating ramp, shop, hotel and beach.

It will even show you where to rent a scooter or a wheelchair for getting around the town. In other words, you can easily find a good Gimpy friendly restaurant for lunch in Surrey and then find a hotel in London and call ahead to book a room.

What a brillant little device. Here’s hoping the BBNav is such a hit the company will see the benefit of including other countries – soon!

Apr 10

A new study shows dying on a motorcycle is becoming a middle-aged phenomenon. The report says death rates from motorcycle crashes have risen steadily since states began weakening helmet laws about a decade ago.

Federal transportation officials say the trend reflects the growing popularity of motorcycles among older people with increasing incomes but decreasing physical dexterity and reaction times.

Click here to read Tara Parker-Pope’s column.

Eds Note: On a lighter note, go to the bottom of her column to find a link to a cute Honda commercial featuring a very young John Travolta as a motorcycle-riding mailman.

Mar 21

Jim Miller, editor of Savvy Senior, was on the “Today” show to talk about Gimpliments that make driving easier and safer.

easy-reach-seat-belt-handle.pngSome of the items, such as the Handybar and the blind-spot mirrors, we’ve written about on The Gimpy Girls previously. But others, such as the Sun Zapper Glare Shield and the Easy Reach Seat Belt Handle, seen here, were new to us.

Miller also discusses new car features for the Gimpy, including raised seats, user-friendly controls and lower trunk entries that make loading and unloading your trunk easier.

Click here to read the whole list and see a video of Miller with Matt Lauer.

(via ivillage)

Dec 24

Cait’s family was introduced to the Handy Bar several years ago when her parents were in a serious car accident.

handy-bar.pngThe hospital therapists showed Cait’s father how to lean on it to get in and out of a car more easily and he found it indispensable to his recovery.

The sturdy Handy Bar easily fits most cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles that have a “U” shaped striker plate in the door frame. There’s no installation – the bar simply drops into place and then stows away under the seat, in a console or in a glove box.

The Handy Bar is ideal for pregnant women and Gimpy people with knee, hip or back problems. Supports up to 300 pounds.handy-bar-in-use.png

Watch this video of the Hand Bar

Attention Limo Drivers: Cait believes every limousine should be equipped with a Handy Bar, especially for wedding and funerals where Gimpy relatives often are in attendance.

Learn More

Sep 24

With its compact size, quick response and exceptional stability, the Piaggio MP3 motorcycle is our dream ride around town.

piaggio-mp3.pngThanks to its two-front wheels, the MP3, at $7,000, is surprisingly easy to ride and provides more confidence than a traditional two-wheeler when taking on wet asphalt and rough roads.

Cait is a motorcycle fan. Marty is not. But both of us want an MP3, which has a 250 cc engine and requires a motorcycle driver’s license.

While the MP3 is easy to keep upright, it weighs about 400 pounds so you must be strong enough to steady it. Because of the three wheels you can, however, get off the bike and it will stand on its own. With practice, you can come to a complete stop at a light and not have to put your feet on the ground.

It’s easy to get on and off and the ride feels like a comfortable chair – easy on our Gimpy bodies. The motorcycle’s automatic transmission eliminates the need to use your feet and legs for shifting and braking and the storage space under the seat is ample enough for a back pack and shoes or a bag of groceries.

Test drive one. It’s a lot of fun!

Learn More

Eds. Note: We scooped Wired magazine by a month on this scooter! That is huge for two not-so-high-tech women operating this show by themselves!

Sep 17

Back-Up AlertWho hasn’t backed out of a parking space without knowing what is behind them? And who among us hasn’t seen a pet or child dart past on the sidewalk as a car is backing out of a driveway?

The older we get the more our reflexes dull. So many of us should consider installing this simple back-up alert that tells pets and people to get out of our way.

Installation is easy. Simply replace your back-up bulb with the beeper, which includes a 50-watt halogen bulb that is more than twice as bright as your standard bulb.Back-Up Bulb

The device emits a continuous “beep-beep” to warn others you’re about to back up. Disable the alarm any time by shifting into reverse twice within a few seconds. Only one bulb required per car.

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