Throughout the United States of America there is an abundance of issues in regard to civilians causing problems on the roads, which we drive on every day. Issues such as driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, reckless driving and lack of attention paid while driving are the first problems that would come to ones mind when thinking about the dangers that we can all potentially face on the road. But an issue that I would like to address that a lot of people do not consider a hazard on the road is elderly civilians behind the wheel on the same roads as us.
This is a problem that has not been so much sporadic, but rather quite frequent and this is something that cannot be put on a pedestal any longer. It is time for our elders to step up to the plate and see that when they get behind the wheel not only are they putting us in danger but also they are putting themselves within the grasp of death or severe injury. I am not trying to say that all old people are bad drivers, just that the majority of them are from what I have seen on the road and dealt with in my family.
Also I am not trying to say that old people shouldn’t simply not be able to drive after a certain age, but rather they should have to take a test like the one teenagers have to take now-a-days to get their drivers permit. If our elders are truly competent to drive on the same roads as us then a simple drivers test wouldn’t cause too much harm. People 65 years and older represent 13 percent of the population in America and 17 percent of all motor vehicle deaths. The age of senior citizen drivers is a serious national concern.
I believe that everyone would agree that drivers need additional skills and knowledge to compensate for decreased abilities that are due to aging. The aging progression can potentially reduce a driver’s capability to deal with traffic incidents both physically and mentally, and can also increase the seriousness of injuries that occur when in a motor vehicle accident. Elderly drivers are more probable to receive citations or tickets for failing to yield to other vehicles, take improper turns, and run through red lights and stop signs.
The AARP, the largest association of older Americans, opposes the idea of license restrictions and the testing of elderly drivers, due to the belief that these procedures are transpiring because of age discrimination. What’s more dangerous, drivers under twenty or drivers over seventy? While older drivers have decades of experience, the statistics on these two groups will probably surprise you. It says on Smartmotorist. com that older drivers are more likely than younger ones to be involved in multi-vehicle crashes, particularly at intersections.
So if you feel bad for older people that have to re-take their license, think again. It could be you who gets in a fender bender with your eighty year old neighbor. While it’s true that elderly people have a lot more experience than the younger drivers on the road today, they also have a lot more health issues that could cause an accident. With age comes diminishing eye sight, hearing, and especially reflexive response. I agree with the laws today that state people over a certain age are required to re-take the drivers license test.
I’ve had many experiences riding in the car with elderly people that make me stick to what I believe today. Just a few examples for you. . . My friend’s grandma was taking me to the airport and on the way over there she ran through a red light. Scary thing is, she hadn’t even realized she had run it. I was too scared to even say anything for fear that she would do something harsh at the last second and cause an accident. I assure no one was going through the intersection but us, otherwise I would have taken action.
Another time when I doubt the elderly ‘s driving skills; my grandma didn’t bother looking over her shoulder to make sure it was clear before getting over into the next lane and we almost side swiped the car next to us. So I stand corrected that older people should have to take more tests to re-issue their license. I strongly believe that elderly people are more dangerous on the road but I also believe that they deserve the right to operate a motor vehicle along with everyone else.