Pros and Cons of Elderly Drivers Behind the Wheel – Should The Elderly Be Re-Tested For DMV Licenses?

The Pros and Cons of Elderly Drivers

“The amount of accidents and fatalities caused by elderly drivers has increased and will continue to increase as the baby boomers hit age sixty-five. What makes it more interesting is most cases are without citations or jail time. Even when a fatality has occurred, senior citizens don’t seem to do any jail time. If it was you or me, you can pretty much count that we would be locked up. I can not understand why State Governments have not stepped up to change our current requirements for the privilege of driving a motor vehicle.”

From the time you start reading this article until it’s completion which is about one and half minutes about 88 auto accidents would have happened and 18 of them would be directly related to the elderly. That is just in the US if you factor in worldwide numbers then the numbers are astronomical. Also one motor vehicle death occurs every 15 minutes.

[su_youtube_advanced url=”http://youtu.be/G9jbGeL4kVk” width=”480″ theme=”light”]

Elderly drivers account for a nearly 19% of all automobile accidents. This number is indeed staggering enough to have many people asking, should older drivers be allowed on the road? And if so, should they be retested more often than younger drivers? For some, the answers to these questions are quite clear. For others, they are subjects of much debate.

Some have proposed that older drivers should be required to retake the driving test at age 65, and then again every few years. This proposal certainly seems reasonable, given the current accident statistics. Where problems may occur would be in the fact that there is a fee to take the driving test. This fee helps to pay the salary of the driving testers. It may not be fair to ask senior drivers to pay this fee more often than others.

Another problem may be that the number of individuals needing to take a driving test would increase. This could place extra burdens on testing spots that are already extremely busy. Wait times could increase, and even those who are for more frequent testing for senior drivers could very well find themselves inconvenienced. Some may be willing to endure longer wait times, while others would not.

Would this be some form of discrimination? Again, there are people on both sides. Laws are in place to protect people. However, not everyone will agree with the laws that are supposed to protect them. Seniors that cling to the ability to drive for their very survival will certainly consider any such law a form of discrimination.

The solution may actually lie somewhere in the middle. It may be possible to ask that any senior driver that has been involved in an accident to retake the driving test. Obviously, this possible solution also has flaws, as who is to say that the individual will survive a serious accident. This could also come to late to save the life of others that may be involved in the accident as well.

It is unclear as to whether or not the government will get involved in this debate. It may be that this decision will need to be made on a state or even local level. In a perfect world, seniors that realize that their driving skills are not up to par would relinquish their drivers license voluntarily. However, many do not realize that this is the case until it is too late. Clearly, there is no easy solution to this complex problem.

[su_youtube_advanced url=”http://youtu.be/HwfVoF3gwCo” width=”480″ theme=”light”]

Just To Stress The Point

As amusing as you might think the video is…the people that died, or were injured don’t think it’s all that funny. It is our responsibility as son’s and daughters to take the keys away from our parents. Yes, they will hate you, they will get angry…but they will get over it.

Why Take a Driver Safety Course?

Because driving has changed since you first got your license, and doing so could save you money on your car insurance.

Many Organizations are stepping up and trying to educate people, especially the elderly about safe driving. AARP is one of those Organizations that offers these courses. Not only does it keep you current on new and changing road laws but after completion may lower your insurance premium. Read more athttp://www.aarp.org/home-garden/transportation/info-05-2010/why-take-a-driver-safety-course.html

Check out your options

It’s better to prepare ahead of time for safety, than to wait for something unfortunate to happen first.

RESOURCES

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov

American Occupational Therapy Association
http://www.AOTA.org

Car Fit— 12-point check list to ensure senior drivers are sitting properly in their own vehicle and that seat, seat belt, mirrors, steering wheel, head rest, gas/brake pedals, and other controls are positioned properly.
American Automobile Association AAA
http://www.aaa.com

Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists
http://www.driver-ed.org

Senior Drivers Organization
http://www.seniordrivers.org

AARP American Association for Retired Persons
Driver Safety Program
http://www.aarp.org

[su_divider]

Epleeba1 3 weeks ago

My wife was a victim in a crash caused by an elderly driver. She(my wife) still suffers from the injuries she received many years ago. The elderly driver and her passenger were both killed in the crash ( as well as a dog in the car). This crash was preventable as the family knew the elderly woman was dangerous behind the wheel. It is very difficult for a family to take away a beloved person’s freedom so retesting after a certain age puts the decision in the state’s corner. I believe the public can decide at what age the retesting should occur. I also believe retesting should be required when a person above a certain age (to be decided) is involved in a traffic accident.


nicolas-ray 3 weeks ago from Stamford, CTHub Author

Tragic all the way around. It is a difficult for a family or caregiver to take the keys away from an elderly parent like I did with my mom. I believe the children of parents have a moral and almost legal obligation to make that choice. The State or Federal government won’t really tough this issue because its a political mind field. Politicians don’t want to loose the elderly s votes. Something needs to be done about this issue and a simple eye test doesn’t make the grade. Thanks for your comment Epleeba1


Some elderly people’s eyes are very to extremely poor . Therefore impairs their ability to drive .


nicolas-ray 3 weeks ago from Stamford, CTHub Author

Exactly Deborah, and currently an eye test is the only thing that is required to renew your motor vehicle license. Some states are attempting to administer a reaction time test which is done on computer, touch screen plus one or two buttons to press, the program is having a lot of resistance from the community. Thanks for your comment.