Paul, on his blog today brought up the issue of elderly drivers.  Meaning the very old usually..his example was a person in his 90’s.

Not a lot other than politics and religion will usually bring such heated remarks but this topic often will. For that I apologize in advance.

I remember having a heated discussion about this very topic once myself in my work place.  Another supervisor had mentioned for some time that his elderly father, in his late 80’s and legally blind, still had his license and still drove.  I started out nicely as I inquired more in the event I didn’t understand him.  Unfortunately I did understand him correctly.  The old man had been having wreck after wreck after wreck, several new cars but still, he drove on.  I asked why.  The friend replied that he and his siblings just hated to take the keys away from him.  I told him to just tell the insurance company or the Police..they would handle it for him and in such a way as to not cause a rift between family members but no…he said that was all the old fella had..his driving in his big car.  I asked my friend to consider other people on the road or in stores, on sidewalks, you name it.  He insisted that the old guy just drove 20 miles or so when he did that he was no real problem on the road.  I said I didn’t think I would want to be on the roads or anywhere his dad was if I knew in advance.  That made my friend mad.  He disputed the situation with me and I wound up being angry enough that with a glance at my own supervisor, I left the area for a good 50 minutes trying to calm down. 

I maintained then and I still do regardless of the fact that I don’t seem to be making any headway on getting any younger and that these rules would also apply to me in time..that older folks..say 70 and up should be re-tested and have an eye exam and their reflexes  tested.  Speaking of that, their flexibility cannot be too compromised either for if they are stiff and locked up (so to speak..just a term) how can they twist their neck and upper body around to peer back and see who is coming down the road before they pull out into the traffic?  Most times they can’t and so they just pull out and there you are..having to avoid a collision. 

One of the guys I had lunch with the other day said he has in in his will of all things, that if a doctor says to his son that he is not able to safely drive, then they keys will be taken from him so he cannot drive and endanger himself or others. 

And I do know that there are some older drivers in their 80’s and more who are safe and have the faculties to maneuver safely in traffic.  But then, there are those who don’t and innocent people are killed when they drive through store fronts or the side walk or into crowds after they mix up the accelerator and the brake pedal.  I told the kids just take mine if I get so I am unsafe.  Of course then, they gotta find a mode of transportation for me. 

OK.  Go ahead and be mad.  Sorry.  I am reminding you that I am speaking of those elderly folk who truly can’t see well, can’t hear well, have already had accidents and are not able to twist and turn to get a gander at traffic etc.