Staying healthy in your car: Coping with illness and age

Is driving a right or a privilege? It depends on whom you ask. State agencies that issue licenses call it a privilege, but the average American male regards it as a right, even acting as if his car were an extension of his body. It's understandable, since driving is intimately related to a man's masculinity, independence, and self-esteem. That's okay as long as a man takes good care of his car and uses it wisely. But even if a man takes good care of his body, illness may strike and he will grow old. How do illnesses and age affect motor vehicle safety, and how can a man keep driving in good health?

Health factors

It's obvious that people with chronic medical conditions have an increased risk for becoming ill abruptly. And chronic illness itself boosts the chances of being in a crash. An Alabama study confirmed the link between chronic illness and crashes; heart disease, previous strokes, arthritis, and the use of various medications indicate increased risk, as does age itself. But that doesn't mean everyone with a pillbox should take the bus. Instead, there are ways to compensate for many problems.

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