Should The Elderly Be Allowed To Drive
  • Today here in california, Santa Monica to be exact an elderly man in his 80s drove straight into a farmers market(thats a place were there is nothing but hundreds of pedestrains) at 60mph running over anyone in his path without even braking. 8 s far were killed including a 3 year old boy. Investigators are saying that the only thing that stopped his car was the bodies. People think he was either dazed, had a seizure or a heart attack or mistaken the gas for the brake. Which brings me to my point should the elderly be allowed to drive? Statistics show that the elderly lose some of there abilities needed to drive safely. And there reaction time isnt as good as that of a 30 year old. But on the other hand elderly do want to keep there independance as much as possible. So whats your view should the elderly drive or should they not be allowed and why?
  • Yes i think they should be allowed to drive but they should be tested like once every 1 or 2 years to make sure they're still capable of driving safely.

    Not everyone has problems driving so it wouldn't really be fair to say the elderly can't drive. But testing for safe driving would be a good idea i think.
  • Yes, they should be allowed to drive. They need to be crazy drivers too, and go really fast. They are near death they need to live what life they have on the edge. :)
  • Here in South Australia, when a person reaches a certain age they need to pass a medical examination and a driving test (when applicable) each year to retain thier license.

    Unfortunately some doctors dispense what I call "idiot compassion" and will sign off a medical certificate so the driver can get around independantly regardless of wether the person is fit to drive or not.

    The system here seems to work reasonably well, but I believe doctors should be bought to account when incidents as DL mentioned occur.

    I ticked not sure because age isn't a reliable indicator of a persons fitness to drive. The greatest casualties on South Australian roads are between the ages of 16-25 years of age caused mainly due to speeding and alchohol. :rules:

  • I also voted 'not sure' because I, too, believe that after the age of 80 there should be some more extensive testing to make sure of their cognitive abilities.

    On one hand, just being over the age of 80 does not automatically make one incapable of driving, or lots of other things. Many people have the misconception that getting older just naturally means that you start to loose cognition. But, that is a falacy. It's the old 'use it or lose it' routine. I once knew a man who was 102 years old, he lived across the street from me, alone, and was perfectly capable of doing everything that one needs to be capable of doing to live alone. He had a nice garden, hung his clothes out on the line to dry, did his own cooking, and DROVE. He was a very safe driver too!!

    On the other hand, many people over the age of 80 start to fall into the trap of thinking "well, since I'm old now I just can't do what I used to" and start to fall apart so to speak, almost by decision. Not to mention the fact that nothing is made to last forever, and that includes all the parts on the human body. Eyes, ears, muscles (for reflexes)..... and, no matter how much a person still 'has it all upstairs', they may not be able to respond as well as they did maybe 20 years ago.

    This all goes toward my opinion that there should be further testing for the elderly to be sure that they can still drive safely out there on the roads. There are just too many situations out there that require quick thinking and the muscle coordination to respond to any situation, not to mention knowing the gas pedal from the brake!! :blink:

    I read the AOL news this morning Daggers and saw this story, and it broke my heart!!!!! Not only for the family members of those who were lost, but also for that 80 year old man and his family. He must be seriously hurting right now!!!!!!

    My thoughts and prayers go out to all of them.
  • As you can imagine... in my line of work I see a lot of drivers everyday.

    Not all the bad drivers out there are the older folks. I see young kids too busy trying to change their CDs or talking on their cell phones or older people eating, reading, or putting on makeup while driving.

    People drift off the road and crash because they're doing everything except driving. I can't count the number of collisions including fatalities that I have investigated in my 15 years of doing this that have been caused by driver inattention

    Sure there are some older folks that have some difficulty maintaining their vehicle on the road and don't get me wrong... what happened down south is a tragic incident.

    Here in California any police officer can submit a driver for a driving test re-examination. These can be routine (such as when they renew their license) or a priority that must be completed with 5-10 days. If they fail to comply (don't show up or fail the test), their license is suspended. Unfortunately it takes an incident like this to have that person retested.

    The bottom line is driving in California is a privilege, not a right . Once it is established that you can not drive safely, no matter what your age, your privilege should be removed.
  • [quote]Originally posted by Topper@Jul 17 2003, 03:50 PM
    The bottom line is driving in California is a [b]privilege, not a right .
  • Originally posted by Susan B STAFF@Jul 17 2003, 04:25 AM

    I also voted 'not sure' because I, too, believe that after the age of 80 there should be some more extensive testing to make sure of their cognitive abilities.

    :think: Hey Suze....
    Man when I hear about that old dude doing a death race 2000 on all those poor people going about there way at the market place, I was thinking " GOD " why did this have to happen..... I mean come on.... two and a half blocks thinking he was putting on the da!!!
    Give it up NOW!!!!!

    I do understand how it must have been for this old guy at the time.... My mother is 82 and she still drives, but not that much now... I worry about what can happen when she drives around town.

    Pretty soon she will quit driving as her licence will expire this next year and she said she will not renew it....

    Just to let you know she didn't get her licence until she was in her 50"s.... she got tired of asking my dad to take her everywhere!

    Worfsonofmog :fight:
  • [quote]Originally posted by Susan B STAFF@Jul 17 2003, 04:25 AM
    [b] I read the AOL news this morning Daggers and saw this story, and it broke my heart!!!!!
  • [quote]Originally posted by WreckinBall@Jul 19 2003, 11:20 PM
    I'm not one to direct prayers, but save yours for the victims, Speedie.
  • Ha! Don't threaten me with a good time. :woot:
  • I think there are loads of people out there who shouldn't be allowd to drive, young and old. When you see what greedy little piggies people can turn into when they get behind the wheel it doesn't bode well for the survival of the species in the long run. Yes, there are some elderly folks out there who may not have enough ability to drive in heavy traffic conditions but there are so many who continually make poor judgements and take unnecessary risks that aren't elderly. It seems to me that it's just too easy to get a drivers license and once you have it there's no retesting procedure whatsoever.
    Here's an interesting fact for you. I don't know how it is elsewhere but in my neck of the woods, you can get your pilot's license at the age of 14, and can fly solo once you've reached the age of 16.