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Old 02-18-2016, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Land of the Great Bears
3,498 posts, read 1,929,182 times
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Arguably, anyone without the strength of a linebacker, the cognitive power of an astrophysicist, and the reflexes of a professional table tennis player is "impaired", to some degree or another.

We can't expect seniors to perform comparably to young, sober adults in their prime.

It's a tough call, deciding when to take the keys away. If they stay in the right lane, avoid left turns except at lights, stay off high speed freeways and drive carefully, then most seniors can compensate for their deteriorating bodies and remain relatively safe.

To answer the question from the first post, I would not mind being tested more regularly after reaching a certain age, say 75.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Central IL
15,253 posts, read 8,568,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
OK, I see your source. I do quibble with the interpretation though. It very well could be that driving seniors have more fatalities because of their less than robust health or constitution. It would be interesting to find out how the fatalities broke down, in so far as senior drivers, passengers, or drivers and/or passengers of other vehicles. If the fatalities are up across the board, that is there are more fatalities of others due to accidents caused by senior drivers, then we'd know for sure that seniors are more prone to accidents.

We did today, see a minivan ahead of us in the right lane, veer over very close to the line dividing the lanes, and then straighten. When we passed, we saw the driver was a younger female who was looking at her phone while driving. And later, as we drove down a narrow city street, a non elderly person drove into our lane from a cross street, causing DH to pull over. Either of these could have been accidents, and DH would not have been at fault. On the other hand, we have been rear ended by an older (than us) guy a couple of years ago. Luckily for us all, he was going slow. I really don't know why he hit us. So, I think all ages are guilty of careless driving.
It's a quibble to talk about fatality rates because yes, the elderly are more frail and suffer more damage than a younger driver. But the stats show similar patterns for ACCIDENTS, not just fatalities.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:26 AM
 
Location: FLG/PHX/MKE
7,288 posts, read 13,521,159 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deelighted View Post
Heard about this on this morning's Tucson news and thought I'd share the article: Senior Drivers more Dangerous? - Tucson News Now

I was surprised to hear that Arizona has a 5-year renewal period for all drivers. I know that Indiana has a 3-year renewal for those 75-85 and a 2-year renewal for those over 85.

From my parents, I know how quickly health changes happened. We also had to take the car keys away from my father. I also remember my mother trying to scratch off lottery tickets while driving on a very, very busy interstate!

Would you object to having to renew your driving license more often as you age?
I don't really see seniors as worse drivers. I just see it as a way to safely categorize a group of drivers without crossing the lines of political correctness, because there is socially acceptable science behind it, not just some -ism. It's not ageist to assert that people decline with age, because they do. Same thing goes for men/women risk factors, because there is a simple genetic distinction where a line can be drawn. But you could probably start separating other groups to find out that some should probably be targeted with additional licensing requirements too, except those things would cross lines of political incorrectness, powerful lobbies, race, or whatever.

The reality is, between people planting their faces in their mobile phones while lane departure and adaptive cruise handle most of the driving, and today's modern over-medicated zombies, there are probably much worse groups of people on the road than seniors. But they can't be conveniently (or legally) classified by neat little boundaries, so they can't be easily restricted until AFTER they crash.

Also, in AZ the licenses are good until 65 (already mentioned). I think that's a little young. While people can decline by age 65, most people today who have declined substantially by age 65 to a degree sufficient to require a license re-issue, probably should have been re-examined 15 years earlier.

Last edited by 43north87west; 02-18-2016 at 10:56 AM..
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:48 AM
 
Location: The South
5,251 posts, read 3,649,924 times
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I'm one of the old ones, you young folks want off the road. This morning I arrived at the left turn lane/light to go to my grocery store. The light was green arrow and there were 4 cars in front of me. The first car turned as the light went red. The remaining three turned left against a red light. I stopped. I don't know the age of the three drivers, but they were all driving Honda/Toyota types with fart pipes. I would be honored to take the same test with those guys.
Based on my experience, a lot of people want us old folks off the road because we don't drive fast enough. I drive under the legal speed limit and always in the right lane and there is always someone on my bumper with a cell phone growing out of their face.
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Old 02-18-2016, 01:57 PM
 
Location: The South
5,251 posts, read 3,649,924 times
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Sometimes the old folks win.

News from The Associated Press
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Central IL
15,253 posts, read 8,568,509 times
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After all is said and done, some of these stats might change if technology keeps leading to more distracted driving. As people using more technology increase in number, we might see an extended age cohort of poor drivers at the younger end. And I do see a lot of drivers in their 30's who text now - not just adolescents or people in their 20's. That WILL have an impact on accident stats .
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,960 posts, read 14,435,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
But the question is whether all ages are guilty of careless driving in equal measure, and that question cannot be resolved by personal anecdotes.
I totally agree. Our experience is usually what informs our opinions though. But I am not satisfied with the statistics quoted on this thread on this. I am not sure they can be interpreted the way they are being interpreted.
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Old 02-18-2016, 05:20 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
4,752 posts, read 2,560,625 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garthur View Post
The most dangerous subset of drivers are the 25 and younger crowd not seniors.

Yes, and by a wide margin!
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Old 02-18-2016, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,763,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
The older people get, the less likely the are to adapt to new ways of doing things, even when they didn't exhibit this reluctance when they were younger. Also, the first thing an elder forgets is the thing learned most recently and they become confused when faced with choices. So even if you carefully teach them something they are likely to forget it the next day. My mother had a computer on her job in the mid-1980s. I doubt anyone would think those dinosaurs were easier to use than today's computers. That computer didn't even have a mouse or Windows.

Yet by about age 75 (and she's nearly 90 now) she could barely Google information. She can read or send simple E-mails but forget about attachments, filing her E-mail, or simple editing tasks. If she wants something printed, she insists I do it for her. She says she's "afraid" she's going to break the printer. Could you actually do that without a hammer? I'm not even asking her to put paper in it, just hit the "print" button. My mother also insists on having a newspaper delivered every day; she refuses to access one on any of the three computers we have in the house, even though I have put direct links on the control panels.

My mother lives with me; two of my relatives and two of my friends are also caring for elderly mothers. So I see a lot of elderly people day to day. Every one of them has a reluctance to make decisions. Offer to take any one of them out to lunch, they'll jump at the chance. Ask them where they want to go, they cannot answer. Even if you give them some choices and tell them to pick one, they can't decide. Forget about expecting them to get dressed and ready in any normal amount of time, even when they are physically quite able. Choosing an outfit requires decisions.

Well, so does driving, even though many elders refuse to acknowledge that. Behind the wheel they easily become overloaded and the result is scrambled thinking and nervousness. Having a GPS or other helpful technology in the car would just be another distraction they could not deal with, let alone learn to use. Not one of the people I see this behavior in has been diagnosed with any form of dementia, but they all exhibit fearfulness and vulnerability when faced with choices or multi-tasking. Needless to say, they shouldn't be driving. Yet I know many people older than my mother who refuse to relinquish their keys. Mom's best friend is 92 and drives every day in Pennsylvania, come rain or snow. It's terrifying to think about.
Very interesting about the link between difficulty making decisions and impaired driving. A thought-provoking and thoughtful post.

I wonder if the difficulty making decisions is a normal part of aging, sort of a prelude to diagnosable dementia? Also I cannot help but wonder if the loss of that ability is similar to other losses in following the "use it or lose it" trajectory. If people start to simplify their lives, to withdraw from their former activities, to get used to their spouses or adult children making decisions for them, can the decision-making ability atrophy like muscles atrophy if we don't do weighted work-outs? Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

Is being deeply involved in decision-making on a daily basis protective of the ability to function? It's a fascinating point, and the above post does make a lot of sense.

Last edited by Escort Rider; 02-18-2016 at 06:27 PM..
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Old 02-18-2016, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,308 posts, read 4,176,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
The older people get, the less likely the are to adapt to new ways of doing things, even when they didn't exhibit this reluctance when they were younger. Also, the first thing an elder forgets is the thing learned most recently and they become confused when faced with choices. So even if you carefully teach them something they are likely to forget it the next day. My mother had a computer on her job in the mid-1980s. I doubt anyone would think those dinosaurs were easier to use than today's computers. That computer didn't even have a mouse or Windows.

Yet by about age 75 (and she's nearly 90 now) she could barely Google information. She can read or send simple E-mails but forget about attachments, filing her E-mail, or simple editing tasks. If she wants something printed, she insists I do it for her. She says she's "afraid" she's going to break the printer. Could you actually do that without a hammer? I'm not even asking her to put paper in it, just hit the "print" button. My mother also insists on having a newspaper delivered every day; she refuses to access one on any of the three computers we have in the house, even though I have put direct links on the control panels.

My mother lives with me; two of my relatives and two of my friends are also caring for elderly mothers. So I see a lot of elderly people day to day. Every one of them has a reluctance to make decisions. Offer to take any one of them out to lunch, they'll jump at the chance. Ask them where they want to go, they cannot answer. Even if you give them some choices and tell them to pick one, they can't decide. Forget about expecting them to get dressed and ready in any normal amount of time, even when they are physically quite able. Choosing an outfit requires decisions.

Well, so does driving, even though many elders refuse to acknowledge that. Behind the wheel they easily become overloaded and the result is scrambled thinking and nervousness. Having a GPS or other helpful technology in the car would just be another distraction they could not deal with, let alone learn to use. Not one of the people I see this behavior in has been diagnosed with any form of dementia, but they all exhibit fearfulness and vulnerability when faced with choices or multi-tasking. Needless to say, they shouldn't be driving. Yet I know many people older than my mother who refuse to relinquish their keys. Mom's best friend is 92 and drives every day in Pennsylvania, come rain or snow. It's terrifying to think about.

I'm talking about people in their 50's, 60's and even 70's. The earlier you adapt, the better off you are when you are older. I've been using a computer for over 30 years now. When I'm 75 I don't anticipate having any problems trying to google something or printing. Same goes for technology in vehicles. I have no problems letting the adaptive cruise control do all the braking and accelerating when I'm in heavy traffic. It makes driving through the LA basin much less taxing. All I have to do is aim the car. Everything else is taken care of. I think a lot of it is in people's minds. I embrace new technology and ideas. Too many people simply refuse to adapt.

Last edited by AlaskaErik; 02-18-2016 at 07:21 PM..
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