- Aging & Longevity
At What Age Should the Elderly be Denied a Driver's License?
The problem will only get worse as the baby boomers migrate from middle age into old and elderly. Already, those before them raise the key issue. Should age determine if a person can drive their car, which to elderly people is freedom from reliance on others. Should age not matter as long as they pass the written and driving part of the test? Many will say yes, but just because they pass does not mean they are as alert and quick to respond to traffic as younger drivers. Old age does create absent minded people on a more frequent basis. Can a person with only mild Alzheimer's pass and drive a car? I don't know, but if they can, that could be dangerous. Absent minded people often step on the gas instead of the brake, slamming the car into stores, banks or into people. It has happened. Or, how about the 100 yr. old man, who backed his Cadillac out of a grocery store parking space hitting 14 people! What happened to him after hitting the first one? Was he even aware of what was going on? Seems not since there were 14 people, 11 were kids. Maybe he forgot where the brake pedal was.
Is 80, 90 or 100 yrs. old, too old to be driving? Stats point out that every day 10,000 boomers turn 65. Reflexes are vital in driving a car and if the elderly have lost them, they should voluntarily give up the driving right. When they know there is some impairment that may make driving a car dangerous, they should give up the right. In California, anyone 70+, must go the DMV to take the written exam and driving test. There about 71,000 drivers over age 90 in California.
The driving and age issue is a delicate one. It was very difficult for my own mother to stop driving at age 76 because of vision problems, I was quite nervous when she was driving.