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Too Old To Drive

Updated on April 19, 2010

How Old Is Too Old To Drive?

If you drive I am sure you have noticed many elderly drivers either going too slow, stopping in a live lane or turning the wrong way. Being careful is good but being over careful often causes accidents. Newly released statistics reveal that drivers over 75 have now surpassed the traditional high risk 16 to 25 year old age group.

This new statistic is odd since the 50 to 75 year old demographic remains the safest drivers. Through increased public debate many concerned citizens hope to slowly pressure law makers to institute changes to driving regulations that would remove elderly drivers from the roads when they reach a certain age. The only question now is how old is too old to drive?

I put the question to the Hubpages members and got these responses;

sasanqua says… If an older person is a safe driver, then they should be allowed to drive regardless of age in my opinion. However, I do agree that they should be subject to regular testing. Anyone can be a safe or unsafe driver; it is not necessarily due to a person's age, although this can be an influencing factor.

Space Age says... I think each person's different & it all depends on the person's cognition.

NVRFAIR says... I would agree that it really depends on the person. My great uncle is 85 and drives great but I have some old people that can't drive anymore.

The consensus among Hubbers was clear. It doesn’t matter how old a person is as long as they are physically and mentally fit they should be able to drive. So why is there a rise in auto accidents among the elderly? The only logical explanation is that more people are living longer. The natural affects of aging kick in over time and by 75 most elderly people experience a host of medical issues that require regular assessment.

Problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, vision loss, and medication dependence take a toll on the elderly. One day Grandpa could be fine and the next day he forgets to take his pills and he winds up running an intersection and cause a serious accident.

Insurance companies set rates according to statistics. Therefore, the higher the group risk is it’s the higher the insurance premium that they will set. I’m sure they are looking forward to a windfall when the baby boomers hit that 75 year mark in a few years.

Steps should be taken to circumvent inevitable problems in the future. One solution could be to require doctors to report impaired individuals to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). Another is to institute a new system of regular testing for the elderly. It may seem harsh but requiring Grandpa to do a quick test every 3 to 5 years might save his and other lives.


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    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      I have seen some really bad driving from elderly folk (and I'm heading that way myself, elderly I mean not bad driving!) and here in South Africa there is mandatory re-application for a driver's licence every five years, and that application includes a mandatory eye or vision test. I know it's hard on the old folk but they do need to be able to see and to react in a very quick time on the roads these days as traffic moves much faster now than it likely did when they first got their licences.

      I hope someon will tell me if my driving becomes too bad!

      Love and peace


    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      8 years ago from Guwahati, India

      Driving as well as swimming is a great art. If any body learns it once, he or she never forgets it. Only a little care and practice makes a driver perfect. Yes, the age has some bearing over the on going process of life. A disciplined person is the best judge of his or her ability. Of course it is advisable to take the opinion of a Doctor for an aged person in the case of an aged person.

    • mr. daydream profile image

      mr. daydream 

      8 years ago

      There's not much we can do about a person growing old and losing their mental and physical scenes, but I do agree with you on the testing thing after they get older to make sure that they're still able to drive functionally. No one should be stripped of their driving privileges just because they got old.


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