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Old People Scare Me


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I drive a lot and have come to the conclusion that everyone over 65 should have to take a road test (WITH AN INSTRUCTOR) every 4 years to renew their license.

Why take the expressway if you're too scared to go more than 45 mph?

Is it really necessary to slow down to 2 mph to turn the corner?
122 Replies (last)
Original Post by stargazer1:

Original Post by trh:

The thing is if you were to pick an age above which people are no longer capable of driving that number would have to be so high that it would not do what is intended. I know people over 90 that are still perfectly capable of driving.  Do you tell them they are to old?  I can see having health requirements, vision we have now, but to establish an age is impossible.  Heck, I know a lady that is 105 years old and doesn't look or act a day over 75.

If we could keep all the 16 to 65 year olds without legal driving licenses off the road that would do much more for making the roads safer than keeping the elderly from getting behind the wheel would.

I also know 12 and 14 year olds that could pass for 16-18 and are more mature than many of them... Does that mean we should also make an exception for them to get a license early?

It seems like most states are pushing the driving age up not down.  My state just raised the age by 6 months but I wouldn't have a problem with having an ability test that has nothing to do with age.  I am sure there are 14 y/os that would be better drivers than many 18 y/os just like there are 80 y/os that are better drivers than many 30 y/os.

Original Post by nomoreexcuses:

Some communities seem to have thought about this, and they have these little buses that pick old people up and take them places and then bring them back home. It's like a subscription service or something. They always look so happy when they arrive at the K&W.

But other communities don't have anything like this. So the old people who live in those places, and whose kids live across the country, they'd become shut-ins and the only people who would know about them at all would be the meals on wheels folks and the people at their church, if they're lucky enough to have a church.

Yeah, the art center I used to volunteer for was in the process of conceiving a program where a shuttle would go get old folks and bring them to the art center to take art classes.  Old people can get so isolated when they don't have any family nearby.

Original Post by trh:

Original Post by stargazer1:

Original Post by trh:

The thing is if you were to pick an age above which people are no longer capable of driving that number would have to be so high that it would not do what is intended. I know people over 90 that are still perfectly capable of driving.  Do you tell them they are to old?  I can see having health requirements, vision we have now, but to establish an age is impossible.  Heck, I know a lady that is 105 years old and doesn't look or act a day over 75.

If we could keep all the 16 to 65 year olds without legal driving licenses off the road that would do much more for making the roads safer than keeping the elderly from getting behind the wheel would.

I also know 12 and 14 year olds that could pass for 16-18 and are more mature than many of them... Does that mean we should also make an exception for them to get a license early?

It seems like most states are pushing the driving age up not down.  My state just raised the age by 6 months but I wouldn't have a problem with having an ability test that has nothing to do with age.  I am sure there are 14 y/os that would be better drivers than many 18 y/os just like there are 80 y/os that are better drivers than many 30 y/os.

agreed.  The only reason I even say a cut off age is because it seems like it would rule out some issues with people trying to say someone was treated unfairly. 

I'm just asking for more frequent testing of someone's driving ability once they reach a certain age. If they pass Great, if not they should find other ways to get around for everyone else's sake. Maybe then it's time to move to a retirement community so you can get help if family isn't around.

Also how would a family member step in? Even if they somehow got ahold of the license a simple call to report it lost/stolen would have that driver back on the road in no time. Only the DMV can really revoke a license.
Original Post by lgilliammk:



Also how would a family member step in? Even if they somehow got ahold of the license a simple call to report it lost/stolen would have that driver back on the road in no time. Only the DMV can really revoke a license.

Take the keys, disable the car... there are ways if it really gets to that point.

Original Post by lgilliammk:

Maybe then it's time to move to a retirement community so you can get help if family isn't around.

I don't mean to make you feel attacked, Lgill, but this comes off as very unfeeling and callous.  You're talking about telling someone to move out of their home, where they might have all of their memories with their family.

Stargazer there is always a spare set of keys and a mechanic. All this will do is cause family troubles. Personally I'd rather be attacked by someone I don't know than someone I love.
Original Post by lgilliammk:

Stargazer there is always a spare set of keys and a mechanic. All this will do is cause family troubles. Personally I'd rather be attacked by someone I don't know than someone I love.

Like I said, there are ALWAYS ways, and more than likely, the family member has a pretty good idea where the spare keys are too.

 

I would much rather deal with the elderly person going too slow than the college kid speeding along while texting.  Driving through the university parking lot can be quite dangerous!

Purespark

I don't mean to come off that way at all. I'm offering that as an alternative. If your choice is to continue driving when you know you shouldn't and risk living the rest of your life with the guilt of having accidentally killed someone for the sake of staying in your home or moving so you can get the help you need, which is the better choice?

I definitely understand what you are getting at, but you're oversimplifying it by reducing the situation to these two alternatives, y'know?  Well, of course it's better to be in a home than to kill someone, but there's a lot of pain and loss that would go into the decision to move from one's house.  Plus, care homes are expensive.  I'd venture to guess that a large proportion of retired people, on a fixed income, couldn't afford that.

Those aren't the only options ...
Original Post by lysistrata:

Those aren't the only options ...

That's what I meant, but for some reason couldn't articulate.

You not only articulated, you did it faster. ;)
No matter what it's not going to be easy. I'm sure getting old and losing your abilities is scary, depressing, frustrating, and just plain stinks. But I'm also sure that just because someone gets older doesn't mean they always make the right choices and emotions may cloud judgement. When it comes to the safety of others a more frequent evaluation wouldn't be such a bad idea.

Perhaps I'm just in a crappy mood right now, but the elderly can be plumb stupid on their motorized vehicles.

But it's not just them...I have a Mother who is a pedestrian and feels it is her 'right' to walk out into the crosswalk any time she choses. Sure. 2000 tons plus of steel and you, Mom, who is going to win? She has caused more screeching of tires and is pleased to relate how the idiots nearly killed her.

Back to the elderly...there seems to be a trend to ride in the center lane or if they are firmly in a lane, they motor along into oncoming traffic.

Of course, you know, I am somewhat balanced and do not mean every elderly person...however, I do know of a recent accident where Mr. Motorized Vehicle decided to cross a road, because he d*** well wanted to, and it was his "right" and got hit by a truck. A leg and an arm broken. The truck driver was traumatized.

I exercise great caution when I see someone on a scooter etc.

Yeah.  I wish there was an easy way to ensure public safety, without resorting to measures that strip people of their dignity and autonomy. 

Sorry, I started reading this thread and realized that it's just full of a lot of discrimination and unfair stereotyping.  Thought I'd post an interesting article I found.  Discrimination ticks me off a lot, and my own words wouldn't be very elegant on the issue. Take Ageism, Not Drivers, Off the Road by PJ Wade

"Older drivers" were common words in media reports this week and they will be until ageism is permanently removed from discussions of who may drive and who may not. This time it was the Aging Driver Mobility Forum, sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, that refreshed ageist concerns with its call for driving restrictions on aging drivers. Other times, it has been a one-in-a-hundred accident caused by a driver described and condemned principally by chronological age.


Anything that encourages ageism, or prejudice against age, makes it more difficult for older, or younger, individuals to gain acceptance based on their personal skills, experience, commitment, and abilities.

Driving is a privilege, not a right, we are told, but thanks to sprawling housing developments and car-friendly urban design, driving is often a necessity or at least a significant convenience. Too many people take their personal transportation for granted. Many move to idyllic country settings and then have to relocate if driving is compromised. Others stay on in the family home without giving a second thought to its distance from essential services. Losing the right to drive can be particularly devastating for those in rural areas, but it can be stressful for anyone.

Current, and long-overdue, research acknowledges that much of the physical deterioration linked to aging can be counterbalanced by exercise, mental and physical, as well as by nutrition and a range of wellness strategies. Aging does not automatically result in dependency, frailty, and senility, except on The Simpsons. Why is the only reaction to advance-age drivers a terminal one -- "take away the car keys" -- that may have significant impact on housing, wellbeing, self-respect, quality of life, contributions to the community, and the list goes on?

Yes, health issues can emerge over time, but wellness strategies are helping people continue active lives even with chronic conditions. Individuals with disabilities have taught those who care to listen a lot about mobility solutions. When vision or health problems do impair ability, then medical restrictions may be required, but declining health is not restricted to, or inevitable with, advanced age. Medical restrictions should emphasize medical conditions and leave age out of it to stop the spread of ageism.

The frustrating thing is that too often nineteenth- and twentieth-century thinking is applied to twenty-first-century problems, while ignoring this century's opportunities. The ageist emphasis gives a false impression that the rest of the licensing and driver training system is perfect -- it's just the "pesky seniors who won't stay home" that cause problems.

However, road rage and road racing have been in the headlines so often that many incidents are no longer considered news. New drivers are a recognized hazzard by insurers and the police. Even a short drive through a neighbourhood may result in a few near misses from preoccupied drivers. Instead of zeroing in on one end of the age spectrum, why not concentrate on improvements that raise the standard of driving across the driver population and make the roads safer for everyone?

Some solutions lie in design improvements for cars and road systems. Why can't cars do more to supplement human skill and knowledge? How far can design go beyond cars that assist with parallel parking? GPS and similar in-car supports mean a driver is no longer alone behind the wheel. Can't we expect these advances to morph with online and wireless innovations to further heighten in-car monitoring and coaching for all drivers? There's not enough space here to explore all the options, but I hope your mind has raced ahead as mine has to the infinite, practical possibilities.

Ongoing driver training and evaluation must parallel the movement to lifelong learning that is now an integral part of the business world and a crucial element in individual growth.

Social networks are natural incubators for innovation. The creative, collaborative force of online communities can solve many challenges when collective thinking is directed and encouraged. Entrepreneurial zest will save individuals and communities from many of the problems that plague them. Canadians are so used to government stepping in and big business leading the way that we forget they have not done much of either in this century. The new leaders are us, together online and off -- and unleashed.

Driving You 'Round the Bend

  • How would your life change if you were not allowed to drive a car anymore, but could not manage a bike or walk great distances?
  • Would you consider your neighbourhood as convenient as you do now if you didn't have wheels when you wanted them? [bullet] Would public transit or taxis be satisfactory solutions, or would you be waiting on friends and family for a ride?
  • Would you feel your self-reliance had been undermine no matter which alternatives you found?

Published: May 20, 2008

OLD AGE IS NOT AN ILLNESS!

Original Post by amd_66:

OLD AGE IS NOT AN ILLNESS!

I wish we could "like" comments on here :)

122 Replies (last)
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