Cagle Post » Older Drivers: Should They Be Tested?


DANNY TYREE

Older Drivers: Should They Be Tested?

Tyrades! By Danny Tyree

 

Some call it profiling. Some call it discrimination. Some call it stereotyping.

Some call it “Grandma, you can’t keep ripping off my metropolitan phonebook in order to see over the steering wheel!”

Whatever one’s gut reaction to the issue of older drivers, the aging of the vast Baby Boom generation demands that the subject be discussed, in order to achieve a balance between road safety and harmonious, productive “golden years.”

Cam Cardow / Ottawa Citizen (click to view more cartoons by Cam)

Sadly, society has found it difficult to conduct a meaningful dialogue about the potential dangers. Seniors’ knee-jerk reaction is to dwell on how much better they drive than teenagers. Thoughtful seniors will concede that there is a certain unfairness to challenging someone to a urination contest when you haven’t quite got your incontinency medication right.

The debate is clouded by the fact that all drivers are different and no age group has a monopoly on driving skills. Older drivers are superior in many aspects of the task, but studies have shown a frightening dimension to their road rage. (“Dadgummit, tomatoes just don’t taste like they did when I was growing up — and SOMEBODY is going to pay!!!”)

Studies show that seniors have a slower reaction time when faced with glaring headlights and other distractions. I don’t mean to question the researchers, but many of the elderly are still adept at snap decisions. (“So this is your new girlfriend. She has tattoos. That means she’s a prostitute!”)

The ability to continue driving is important to the DIGNITY of seniors. They can regale their passengers with dignified stories of “Did I ever tell you what my friends and I did at WOODSTOCK? We were still laughing about that when we bought our first polyester leisure suits and platform shoes. Breaker, breaker, good buddy. Are you still listening back there?”

According to USA Today, more than 600,000 drivers age 70 and above voluntarily take themselves off the road each year. We need to help seniors recognize the tell-tale signs that they need to shift to a less independent lifestyle. If you drive while talking on the phone — the LAND-LINE phone—it’s probably time to hang up the keys. If you dutifully look both ways at an intersection — because you never know when the Pony Express could come by — it’s probably time to hang up the keys. If you pull to the shoulder of the road out of respect for a funeral procession, and don’t start up again until you hear the wagon driver chanting, “Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!” — it’s probably time to hang up the keys.

The situation demands a wide arsenal, including periodic testing of ALL drivers who have brushes with the law, respectfully customized restricted licenses, a streamlined process for reporting concerns and heightened publicity for AARP driver education programs.

One of the greatest dreads of adult children is the time that they must ask their parents to surrender their car keys. Of course this process is made much easier if the parent flaunts a Winnebago plastered with bumper stickers such as “I’m Spending My Children’s Inheritance.” (“It’s safer if you give up driving, Dad. And you never know when the batteries in the TV remote will start a fire. And I’ve heard some disturbing things about the potential danger of recliners…”)

 Cagle Post » Older Drivers: Should They Be Tested?.

, , , , , , ,

  1. #1 by synapticcohesion on April 25, 2012 - 12:48 PM

    That’s a problem with many seniors. They tie “independence” and “dignity” to driving when that is completely ridiculous. I’ve seen the aftermath of this independence and it was not at all dignified–it might have even cause someone THEIR life and THEIR independence (a pedestrian’s arms and legs were broken by an 85-year-old woman who was not only speeding, but later got confused about accelerating vs. braking).

    I think it makes sense to not only have regular and frequent testing for seniors, but that there should be an age limit. Think about it. 85 is beyond the average life expectancy in the US and probably a lot of other countries. That means ANYTHING could happen at that age (stroke, heart attack, natural causes, etc.)–even to someone who appears alert and healthy in every way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

SATIRE NATION

Off the charts...

Thoughtfully Prepping

My Scribblings about Prepping and Survivalism

Derek's Blog

Personal Blog about nothing

The Better Man Project

A man in progress. One day at a time.

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

∙ tenderheartmusings ∙

we were born naked onto the page of existence; with nothing but the pen of our soul to write ourselves into eternal ecstasy ~ DreamingBear Baraka Kanaan

The Wine Wankers

Smile :) You’re at the best wine blog ever! Scroll down to read our fun stories, and join our journey as we fight through the wine jargon in search of a good glass of wine. Wine blogs; the best place to read about wine online! We're rated as one of the most influential wine people on the net by Klout and Kred. Contact: winewankers@hotmail.com

Good Time Stories

Inspiring and Heartwarming Stories

musings from a musical mind

60's flowerchild,herbalist,dreamer, seeker of truth

retireediary

The Diary of a Retiree

AirportsMadeSimple

Your Stories, My Stories, Our Stories

oasisbidari

A fine WordPress.com site

NoWorksSalvationApocalypseNow

Finishing Lifes Race Strong

Deep Shit Media

Alternative Sovereign Communications

38 Years

Perspective from the middle ages of life

Bookgirl

A great WordPress.com site

Chastisement 2014

He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork

Direct From The Street - Stuff We And People Share

Photos, Videos, Articles - Business, Social Media, Marketing, Entertainment, Fashion, Sports, Life

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 366 other followers

%d bloggers like this: