Elderly Drivers

Senior citizens should be off the roads! Anyone over the age of 65 that cannot handle the responsibility of driving a vehicle should not be allowed to drive. To weed out these people every person once they reach that age should have to retake their written and road driving exams that year, and every year after that. This will dramatically minimize the amount of accidents caused by the elderly. My grandfather is an example of a bad driver over the age of 70. He is 78 and still drives although I do not believe that he should. He had a bad work accident (not involving a vehicle) about a year and a month ago that has affected him greatly. He hurt his arm really badly and now it is even hard for him to turn the key, or put on his seat belt imagine what he’s like driving it. For instance one time when he was driving me out to my dad’s house he was driving about speed limit, but on the wrong side! He was driving on the left had side of the road maybe he thought he was in Europe? I don’t know what he thought, but all of a sudden we met another vehicle and grandpa wasn’t moving over. It wasn’t until the other vehicle was only _______ feet away from our truck that he moved other almost colliding with it. Luckily no one was hurt, but that experience could quite easily have ended differently. From now on when my grandpa is taking me out to the farm I drive! Most senior citizens that should not be driving do not think that they are bad drivers. They may think that they have gotten worse as the years have passed, but in actuality their driving is dangerous. These people need to be proved to that they should not be on the roads as drivers but only as passengers. If retaking their road test is the only way to do this than that’s the way it should be.

Elderly drives are a hazard to all drivers. They cause accidents all the time. For example in September of 2003, an 88-year-old woman lost control of her car and killed an elderly couple in Roseville, Minnesota. The same day in Santa Cruz, California, an 85-year-old driver injured four pedestrians. In July, an 86-year-old driver killed ten people when his vehicle plowed through a farmers’ market in Santa Monica, California. These are just a few examples of many. All the time you read new headlines that say: “Elderly driver causes accident,” “80 year old woman failed to stop at a red light, 3 dead,” etc. “Quality Planning Corporation released statistics from over one million drivers across the United States. The statistics show that drivers over 81 years of age are involved in 27 reported accidents for every estimated one million miles driven. The data compiled by QPC revealed that the most accident-prone age group is 16-24, after which accidents drop from 28 to 16 for 21 to 30 year olds and continue to decrease until the 61-70 age bracket, at which point the accident rate starts to climb back up to about the same rate as that of the youngest drivers.”[1] Those statistics are about the same as they would be in Canada. Given that information proves that elderly drivers are a major cause of accidents across Canada and America. Even though the elderly drivers cause around the same amount of accidents as does a 16 to 20 year old, they are at more risk of fatality and injury in an accident. A person 65 or older who is involved in a car accident is more likely to be seriously hurt, hospitalized, and more likely to die than younger people involved in the same crash. Fatal crash rates rise harshly after a driver has reached the age of 70.

As someone ages their ability to do the activities they once loved decreases. Their bodies change gradually in such ways that affect their driving skills. Many elders are hard on hearing affecting their driving because they will not be able to hear other vehicles honking their horns, screeching tires, or an emergency vehicle siren. As a person ages their eyesight also