Saturday, December 17, 2011

When should seniors stop driving

This morning's Northwest Herald gave front-page coverage to the problem (issue? question?) of driving by senior citizens.

The July 2010 at-fault crash of one driver, 79, was the article, after which her family persuaded her to stop driving.

In the case of another senior driver, this one "only" 74, she was quoted as saying, "If I can't function anymore, or can't see well enough, then I think they (her family) should do the right thing." She means, talk her into not driving. I would have preferred to read that she would do the right thing and stop driving. There is sure to be an argument in the future about her driving skills.

I recall the mother of one acquaintance who rear-ended a car in Huntley, pulled around and drove home to park her car in the garage. Someone had gotten her plate number. When the cops showed up at her door and asked about the accident, she asked, "What accident? There is nothing wrong with my car."

She escorted the cops to her garage, where her mangled car was parked. She didn't remember the crash.

When I taught the AARP Driver Safety Program, I understood the worry that senior drivers had about losing their driving privileges. I always got a laugh, when I told them, "You don't need a driver's license to drive a car. You need a car!"

When I'm too old to drive my car, I hope I'll still be able to ride my motorcycle...

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