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Arthritis is one of the major causes of disability and chronic pain in Australia. As Arthritis Australia notes, “As the population ages, the number of people with arthritis is growing. According to leading researcher Access Economics, current trends suggest that, by 2050, 7 million Australians will suffer from some form of arthritis.”

So how does someone suffering from arthritis get from point A to point B?

Well, it’s a matter of managing your symptoms, understanding your limitations and being aware of how these may restrict your ability to operate an automobile. While you should always follow your GP’s advice, here are five tips for safe driving for someone suffering from arthritis.

1. Report your condition

As Vic Roads notes, “Driving is a privilege, which brings responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to ensure that you are capable of driving safely.”

As a motorist, it’s your responsibility to report any conditions that might impair your ability to operate a vehicle to the appropriate body. Following this you may be required to see a medical professional for an assessment.

2. Consider changes to car control mechanisms

There’s no getting around it, arthritis will significantly change your driving style. But modifications to your vehicle can make this much easier to manage. Automated hand, steering, extension and food controls can ease pressure on joints.

3. Consider changes to your driving routine

Stuck in the middle of a peak hour gridlock is the last thing you want as an arthritis sufferer, so consider changes to your driving routine and avoid taking to the road when it’s too busy. Also, if you’re ever experience significant pain before you head out, consider an alternate method of transport like public transport.

4. Navigate parking lots with care

If you’re unable to find a disabled spot, try to park your vehicle in a place that isn’t too cramped or on a slope, so it can be started easily. If walking isn’t a problem it might even be worth parking further away from the destination so your departure is less stressful.

5. Get the appropriate level of car insurance

Should the unthinkable happen, it’s important to know you’re covered. By finding a flexible car insurance policy that can be adapted to suit your needs, you can have peace of mind on the roads and comfort as a senior driver.

Whether you’re planning the ultimate grey nomad road trip or simply just looking to pick the grandkids up from school, a reliable vehicle is an important part of senior life. Over60 understands senior drivers, offering a range of car insurance policies that can not only be tailored to meet various people's circumstances, but designed to reward good drivers with competitive prices. To find out how you can get 15 per cent off^ your next car insurance policy with Over60, click here.

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