Brain exercises reduce accident risk in older drivers

There’s a clinically proven brain fitness training tool that helps older adults reduce their likelihood of being in a car accident.

For instance, playing a computer-based programme DriveSharp for 20 minutes a day, three times a week helps older drivers cut their crash risk up to 50 per cent, stop 22 feet sooner when driving at 90 kmph and increase confidence while driving at night and in stressful conditions.

Brain exercises reduce accident risk in older drivers 300x279 Brain exercises reduce accident risk in older drivers “It is important for drivers to understand that they can take an active role in staying safe on the road as they age,” said Jodi Olshevski, gerontologist and assistant vice president of The Hartford Financial Services Group.

About half of all adults surveyed believe older drivers can improve their skills to allow them to safely drive for more years, said a Hartford Group statement.

Here are 10 brain fitness tips:

1. Eat dark chocolate – Dark chocolate causes your brain to release dopamine, a chemical that improves overall brain function and improves your memory.

2. Eat fish – Studies suggest that a diet rich in fish – especially fatty fish like salmon – can improve brain function.

3. Play ball - Throwing a ball up in the air and catching it, or better yet, trying your hand at juggling, can improve your hand-eye coordination and carries widespread brain health benefits.

4. Rest – Getting a good night’s sleep is critical to brain function, particularly memory.

5. Make your hobbies harder - Take on something a bit more difficult than you’re used to. By putting higher demands on your brain, you will have to concentrate harder and re-engage your brain’s learning ability.

6. Walk on a rocky road – Scientists believe that walking on uneven surfaces like cobblestones improves the vestibular system of the inner ear, which plays a central role in balance and equilibrium and translates to better balance.

7. Visit a museum - Go on a guided tour and pay very careful attention to what you see and hear. When you get home, write an outline of the tour that includes every detail you remember.

8. Exercise your brain – Use brain fitness exercises like DriveSharp that promotes the ability for drivers to think faster, focus better, and react more quickly.

9. Learn to play a new instrument - Playing an instrument helps you exercise many interrelated dimensions of brain function, including listening, control of refined movement, and translation of written notes (sight) to music (movement and sound).

10. Use your other hand – While you may find it difficult at first, practising an activity such as brushing your teeth with your subordinate hand can drive your brain to make positive changes.

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