Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Elderly Drivers

This topic came up when my folks were visiting. My Dad is 86. He was complaining that the headrests in his car are in his way. I can understand that - to a point. My headrest is in my way too. I have to move my head left or right in order to see when I back out of a spot. My Dad felt headrests should be removed. I say they are a safety precaution to help prevent whiplash. We agreed to disagree.

Massachusetts recently had a spate of elderly drivers injuring or killing people. Surely teen drivers die at a far more alarming rate. Older drivers tend to be safer drivers.

But is there an age at which by default, a person should turn in his/her license or the state should start road testing?

Today I followed a large Caddy into post office parking lot. Driven by another headless person (older, too short to be above the headrest.) He blew through not ONE but TWO stop signs in the parking lot and had to conduct a 43 point turn to get into a parking space. Should he be driving?

In a weird twist, my Dad's car died the other day. It just up and died. Fortunately he recognized the noise as a death rattle and came home. So he's safe. Phew! But now he has no car. And I'm sure that's big loss to him. Getting older is no picnic.


Amanda said...

In the UK you have to retake your test when you get to a certain age and then three yearly after that. I don't think it would be such a bad thing if we ALL had to retake our test every five years maybe - you don't have to be of a certain age to be a bad driver!

Kim Rossi Stagliano said...

You sure don't. And with texting, drivers are getting worse by the moment. The older folks are probably not as dangerous as the kids Tweeting at 80 mph or the idiot business people checking email in traffic. I hate that!

Driving is a religion in America. Get your license at 16 and you're home free until you die. It might need a tweaking. Yes.

Cheryl Kauffman said...

I had a headrest and still got really bad whiplash and needed surgery. It could have been even worse without a headrest though.
I agree eveyone should have to retake their test every few years.

Crystal said...

I have a great story about an elderly couple, a Cadillac, and a tub of peanut butter, but I'll let you hear it when you read my book. :) Loved the blog entry, BTW. :)