Aging Drivers

  • The Aging Driver

    By Samantha M.


    As people grow older they lose the traits they portrayed when they were younger. People get older, gets jobs, and start a family--in doing so they also have declining eyesight, their memory isn't as sharp as it used to be, their hearing can become impaired, illnesses as well as their reaction time slows down. Even though older people have the need to go places along with everyone else. Some people believe that these people who have come to theses effects of getting older should have to retake theirs road tests, or have their license revoked. These actions will make sure to keep the roads a relatively safe place to be.


    Driving requires the person to pay full attention to where they are going, who and what is around them, the signs, and also hazardous and troublesome issues that could occur on the road.  These things put the person at a higher risk. Facts that Jane E. Brody's states in her article how the aging driver is three times more likely to have an accident every mile they drive. Older drivers also have a larger risk of being killed in an accident in the same type of accident as a younger driver.


    Each person ages at different rates, and when they do they do, not everyone knows or wants to admit that they are not like they were years ago. Driving is a very involved activity, both mentally and physically. Being that you need mental and physical strength makes it a lot more difficult for the aging driver to remain a "Safe Driver". On July 16, 2003, George Weller an eighty six year old man was found guilty for vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. Mistaking the gas pedal for the break caused Weller to crash at a fast speed into a farmer’s market in California killing ten people and injuring dozens of others. These types of stories are not only heart breaking but also frustrate the everyday person because this can be prevented.


    Some things to do are to watch the warning signs that the aging driver is incapable. Doing something about it can save someone's life. Abrupt lane changes, breaking or acceleration, increase of dents, scrapes and driving on the wrong side of the road are big signs of the driver’s age affecting their driving.


    Hopefully in the future there will be a law to enforce the elderly drivers to turn in their keys and give up their licenses. In return, an alternate driver, or transportation should be provided. Taking these steps can help make people feel a great deal safer not only on the roads but off as well.