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Old 08-27-2011, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,889 posts, read 25,327,549 times
Reputation: 26385

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
This is a serious issue. One that I am directly concerned with for many reasons...and end up being in the thick of it most of the time. Currently I am on a group that meets with the state regarding this issue.

Older adults are the number one consumers of prescription medication, many of which have warnings against driving with the use of that medication. And the consumers, ignore that information.

Older adults are also the fastest growing group for Age Related Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinapathy, and Glaucoma. Many of our seniors have had their licenses taken away for being visually impaired, are told by their doctor that they cannot legally drive any longer, and yet continue to do so...risking not only their lives, but the lives of other people.

There is no justification for driving under the influence of prescription medication that can cause drowsiness, or driving with a severe visual impairment. These are just two reasons why senior driving needs to be monitored, more closely than it currently is...I did not even discuss the issues of cognitive problems, lack of fine and gross motor control issues, and slower rate of response time due to slower central processing issues...The list could go on...and on...

The problem is that even when licenses are taken away, seniors continue to drive...that is the main issue....the family needs to step in, take the keys away, sell the vehicle...or just keep the elder person away from driving.
So, seniors are no different than everyone else. The guy who had the DUI is still driving. So is the person whose record is so bad they can no longer get insurance. The person with no insurance forever is still on the road too. Along with most everyone else whose license was suspended or revoked. Then the seniors who shouldn't drive but still do. Add in all the people who take prescription meds and then add in all the folks on street drugs. Then you have all the boozers. The roads are full of people who shouldn't be driving.

The above is just the tip of the iceberg. Add in all the teens, texters, tired shift workers, and distracted soccer moms and soon there will be no one left on the road. Seniors are a small piece of the total problem. Just make sure whatever changes doesn't penalize the elderly any more than it does all these other groups.

Even more important is why do all these normally law abiding individuals persist in this act of civil disobedience? Could it be that there is no other feasible way for them to accomplish the tasks of everyday living?
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:13 PM
 
18,852 posts, read 31,722,131 times
Reputation: 26118
Ever heard of public transportation? Cabs? Para-Transit? Grocery delivery service? Online banking? There are ways of accomplishing tasks of daily living without driving, and risking someone's life, and your own, if you are too impaired to drive safely.
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,889 posts, read 25,327,549 times
Reputation: 26385
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
Ever heard of public transportation? Cabs? Para-Transit? Grocery delivery service? Online banking? There are ways of accomplishing tasks of daily living without driving, and risking someone's life, and your own, if you are too impaired to drive safely.
Great services and I'm all for it.

There isn't enough of it available at a reasonable cost to be feasible for many people, especially those who don't live in a major metropolitan area.

Many people in the NYC area go through their whole lives without driving. They can do this because there is acceptable public transportation. They can go wherever they want, whenever they want. If the whole country had services like this available, many people would elect to never drive at all. Owning, maintaining, insuring, and fueling a car is a big expense.

I'm all for getting impaired drivers off the road but there has to be alternative transportation available. Losing a driver's license should not feel like a death sentence or the short bus straight to the nursing home. Nor should older people be penalized more harshly than all those other groups who should also not be on the road. If you go after one group, you have to go after all of them.

I went for 6 months once, in the US, without a car or driving anywhere. It was a major inconvenience and made daily life very difficult even though I was young and able bodied. I was still able to trudge a mile to the bus stop in the snow and ice. Every 20 minute errand I needed to run turned into 3 hours of wasted time. I gave it up and bought a car. I lived in Europe without a car for a much longer period of time and it was totally doable. Most everything I needed was in walking distance and the bus/train/subway system was great whenever I needed to go further away from home. Most of the time, it was easier and more convenient to use public transportation than it was to travel by private vehicle.

If you really want to understand why people drive who should not be driving, give up your keys and rely on public transportation for 6 months. No cheating, you have to do all the things you would normally do. Do you have any idea how many trips on the bus it would take to do your grocery shopping? You can only carry so much on each trip and still walk home. You have to be able to manage the stairs on the bus too. And if we are talking about getting ALL impaired drivers off the roads, you might just have to take your three kids with you too. Do you think you could do this for 6 months?

Until the average person in the US CAN do this, the impaired, uninsured, and unlicensed will continue to drive.
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:54 PM
 
11,192 posts, read 10,213,122 times
Reputation: 20622
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
This just in on a PBS news report, Aug 25, 2011.

- 37 million people will be over the age of 65 by 2020.
- 90% will be driving.
- 3 million drivers are over age 85 now.
- One guy interview on PBS Newshour has just had a license renewed that is good till he is age 100.
- Only Illinois requires seniors to take a road test.

I guess we're talking about Mr. Magoo drivers. I think that group lives in Florida. I wouldn't worry too much ... unless you live in Florida.
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Ohio
15,164 posts, read 13,432,307 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
Great services and I'm all for it.

There isn't enough of it available at a reasonable cost to be feasible for many people, especially those who don't live in a major metropolitan area.

Many people in the NYC area go through their whole lives without driving. They can do this because there is acceptable public transportation. They can go wherever they want, whenever they want. If the whole country had services like this available, many people would elect to never drive at all. Owning, maintaining, insuring, and fueling a car is a big expense.

I'm all for getting impaired drivers off the road but there has to be alternative transportation available. Losing a driver's license should not feel like a death sentence or the short bus straight to the nursing home. Nor should older people be penalized more harshly than all those other groups who should also not be on the road. If you go after one group, you have to go after all of them.

I went for 6 months once, in the US, without a car or driving anywhere. It was a major inconvenience and made daily life very difficult even though I was young and able bodied. I was still able to trudge a mile to the bus stop in the snow and ice. Every 20 minute errand I needed to run turned into 3 hours of wasted time. I gave it up and bought a car. I lived in Europe without a car for a much longer period of time and it was totally doable. Most everything I needed was in walking distance and the bus/train/subway system was great whenever I needed to go further away from home. Most of the time, it was easier and more convenient to use public transportation than it was to travel by private vehicle.

If you really want to understand why people drive who should not be driving, give up your keys and rely on public transportation for 6 months. No cheating, you have to do all the things you would normally do. Do you have any idea how many trips on the bus it would take to do your grocery shopping? You can only carry so much on each trip and still walk home. You have to be able to manage the stairs on the bus too. And if we are talking about getting ALL impaired drivers off the roads, you might just have to take your three kids with you too. Do you think you could do this for 6 months?

Until the average person in the US CAN do this, the impaired, uninsured, and unlicensed will continue to drive.
You are so right. Some people just cannot see beyond their own circumstance.

If you live rural, as I do, there just are no viable alternatives available, and......... not everyone has family to drive them around.

Seniors should not be singled out, as they certainly are not the only impaired drivers on the road. When you consider distractions, medications and just plain bad drivers......seniors are no more guilty than anyone else.
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Old 08-28-2011, 05:14 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,978,143 times
Reputation: 15649
Not too long ago around here an elderly woman in great standing in the community (volunteered all over the place, etc) lost control of her car and hit and killed a college girl. The defense cited meds and she got off without much of a sentence. Also not too long ago a guy in his 80s lost control and smashed into a glass front dentist or doctors office. He wasn't drunk, just old and feeble. I forget whether anyone was hurt besides him.

Which brings me to another point--aside from whether or not the very old should drive, there is the issue of THEM getting hit by someone else and suffering terrible injuries that they may not be able to recover from due to their age. After reaching old age by the grace of God, what a way to go.
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,889 posts, read 25,327,549 times
Reputation: 26385
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Not too long ago around here an elderly woman in great standing in the community (volunteered all over the place, etc) lost control of her car and hit and killed a college girl. The defense cited meds and she got off without much of a sentence. Also not too long ago a guy in his 80s lost control and smashed into a glass front dentist or doctors office. He wasn't drunk, just old and feeble. I forget whether anyone was hurt besides him.

Which brings me to another point--aside from whether or not the very old should drive, there is the issue of THEM getting hit by someone else and suffering terrible injuries that they may not be able to recover from due to their age. After reaching old age by the grace of God, what a way to go.
This will continue to be an issue. I think older people should insist on being treated fairly. Part of the old people on the road being dangerous thing is driven by the media. A 99 yo who causes a serious accident is newsworthy. If a 32 yo causes the same accident, it won't even be mentioned.

As long as there are vehicles on the road, people are going to get hurt. Even the very best, most responsible driver out there has times, moments, hours, days, when they should not be driving. If they are aware of it, they try to compensate by being extra careful. But there are also times when we are just plain lucky to get home without causing or being damaged.
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Old 08-28-2011, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Ohio
3,441 posts, read 5,188,507 times
Reputation: 2667
I have seen vary dangerous older drivers and very dangerous young drivers.
I believe the driving age should be raised to 18 on a national level.
I believe after age 65 you need to take a road test when renewing.
I have watched young woman race around in traffic like it was a road race.
I have watched older folks drive around as if 25 was the fastest the vehicle could go.
All ages and both genders changing lanes without looking or signaling(obviously).

In Ohio you are required to take a vision test with original license and at every renewal ... There was an older woman that couldn't even follow the instructions for the vision test(this test had been in place 20 years or so), she couldn't read any of it after she figured it out, she failed and was informed she can't renew(she couldn't understand that part either), scary to think how long this lady was driving around.
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Old 08-28-2011, 11:39 AM
 
Location: FLG/PHX/MKE
7,288 posts, read 13,502,647 times
Reputation: 11576
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
1. Is it a “dangerous luxury” for old people to operate road vehicles?
(No matter how safely the old folks think they drive, do they still pose a high potential danger?)
Let me know whether it's a "luxury" when you're 75.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
2. At what age do you think you’ll stop driving and why? How will you get around?
Easy, I'll demand that younger people furnish a way for me to get around, since they thought seniors were a problem, but totally, like, txt all their BFFs and care for their little tots in the back seat while driving on "vaca"... OMG

Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
3. Other thoughts?
Yup. The people targeting seniors are going to BE seniors in a few years or decades. Hope they're ready to put their money where their mouth is.

Here's a thought:
  • Raise driving age to 18, to get the most risky drivers and worst death rates per age group, off the road entirely.
  • Target distracted drivers (parents with kids, device distractions, under 25 with multiple passengers)
  • Target drivers who have a pattern of disparate or discourteous driving .
  • Revoke licenses of anyone under 25 who receives a DUI. Can reapply at age 25. Permanent revocation for 2nd DUI.


If we got rid of all of the other problematic drivers, it would probably be more safe for seniors to drive, without having to dodge drunks, teens, reckless drivers, and all other manner of hazardous drivers who should probably be booted from the roads in the first place. Especially hypocritical parents who demand safety "for their kids", then promptly tear off onto the road while blabbing on phones and looking into the back seat half the time, apparently demanding that other traffic will excuse their poor driving and make room for them.
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Old 08-28-2011, 12:44 PM
 
9,197 posts, read 9,275,870 times
Reputation: 28813
Quote:
I have seen vary dangerous older drivers and very dangerous young drivers.
I believe the driving age should be raised to 18 on a national level.
I believe after age 65 you need to take a road test when renewing.
I have watched young woman race around in traffic like it was a road race.
I have watched older folks drive around as if 25 was the fastest the vehicle could go.
All ages and both genders changing lanes without looking or signaling(obviously).

In Ohio you are required to take a vision test with original license and at every renewal ... There was an older woman that couldn't even follow the instructions for the vision test(this test had been in place 20 years or so), she couldn't read any of it after she figured it out, she failed and was informed she can't renew(she couldn't understand that part either), scary to think how long this lady was driving around.
A significant part of my living is made bringing insurance claims on behalf of people injured in motor vehicle accidents. In fact, I estimate I've represented something on the order of 2,500 accident victims in the last 27 years.

I've seen a lot over the years. My experiences have left me with a firm belief that as a society we've made certain choices that pretty much dictate certain outcomes. For example:

1. We've built our society around private automobiles and not around public transportation. As such, when someone is deprived of the ability (notice I said "ability" not "right") to drive it is likely to bring about hardship in most areas of the country.

2. Raising the driving age to eighteen is a good idea in terms of decreasing accidents/injuries/deaths. The problem is that unconsciously, many people are willing to accept those increased injuries and deaths as a sort of "price to be paid" in return for allowing sixteen year olds to drive. My parents wanted me driving at the earliest possible age for the simple reason they were busy and didn't want to be taking me places. They were more than eager to help me buy a used car and even contribute towards my insurance just so they could do "their thing" and I could do "my thing". I actually see the same attitude among many of my neighbors and friends. If you tried to raise the driving age to 18, where I live there would be a chorus of complaints.

3. Re-testing and more frequent license renewal times would be a good idea from a safety standpoint. However, once again, safety is only value that exists in society. Other values include not paying additional taxes, avoiding the inconvenience involved in re-testing, and being less subject to dictates from the state or government. If you think any of these values are "minor" or "unimportant", I'd encourage you to talk to your friends and neighbors. You may be surprised at what you hear.

4. Many people have little interest in avoiding injuries. Think how difficult it was to enact mandatory seat belt laws. Seat belts became available as early as 1962. Yet, it took well into the 1980's to get mandatory seat belt laws in all the states. It may seem ridiculous, but many people felt that avoiding the slight inconvenience of having a belt around their lap was completely worth the risk of suffering a major injury or even death in an accident. Incidentally, the same is true when it comes to motorcycle riders and helmet laws.

I have seen a lot of carnage over the years. Deaths and injuries that left people completely disabled. Public safety workers and medical people could probably say the same thing. Yet, most people will not think about these problems until it happens to them or a close family member.

We make choices as a society. We live with the consequences of those choices.
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