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Should Old People Be Allowed On The Road?

Wed Aug 23, 2000 9:42 am

I personally see quite a few old people (70+) driving. They are often going up to 20mph under the speed limit, have troubles staying constant, often slow for green lights, have trouble navigating, ... Should these people be allowed on the road? I don't believe so, but they do need to get places like the rest of us, and until we find a solution, I guess we'll have to deal with it.
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RE: Should Old People Be Allowed On The Road?

Wed Aug 23, 2000 9:51 am

Maybe they could go for a yearly driving test, to see if they are still capable of staying on the roads.

Born to fly !

RE: Should Old People Be Allowed On The Road?

Wed Aug 23, 2000 10:38 am

What a load of shit.

How many old people do you see killed on the roads in traffic accidents due to speeding, alcohol and illegal drugs, etc.

I am guessing here but the number would be very close to ZERO.

My grandmother is 71 this year, and she regularly drives 500km to the bush where she stays on a farm. She has never had an accident, and is on the maximum no-claim bonus with her insurer due to her safe driving record.

What I have more of a problem with is young people on the roads, who have absolutely no idea on how to handle a potential killer. Both of the people who have responded to this are both under the age of 20.....the highest percentage age bracket for people killed on the roads. If anyone should have to go for yearly tests, it should be those who are under the age of 21 and have no idea how to drive (the majority).

Remember the speed limits are there as a MAXIMUM, not a minimum, and there is a push, at least here in Australia, for speed limits in suburban areas to be dropped due to the high incidence of fatal accidents as a direct result of speed.

In future, I wish people would think about what they say, before coming out with idiotic comments such as those before me.


RE: Should Old People Be Allowed On The Road?

Wed Aug 23, 2000 10:52 am

Only if they're inside a hearse.
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RE: Should Old People Be Allowed On The Road?

Wed Aug 23, 2000 11:08 am

I agree with Euroflyer -- my grandmother turned 80 this year. Now read closely.

She has had five accidents in the last ten years, but in all of them she was hit from behind or broadsided.

You're probably thinking "oh, yeah, she was one of those slowpokes I'm talking about." Well, let it be known that my grandmother considers the speed limit a "suggested speed." She loves the open road and used to drive up to our place from where she lives in three hours -- it usually took our family about four hours to do the same trip.

Yet she is a very responsible driver and she takes a lot of those "55 Alive" classes for senior citizens. She's never lost her driver's license.

I agree, however, that yearly tests might be reasonable. All experts agree that no matter how good shape you are in, your reflexes deteriorate with age. I think my grandmother would even agree to taking the tests, although she's independent enough she'd probably think it a waste of time.

Lucky woman she is, though. She will not wear a lap belt. In the mid 1950s she was at a car stunt show (my grandfather was a stunt driver) and she saw a man burn to death because he could not get out of his seatbelt. She only will wear the belt when someone insists and when we are in Canada (she doesn't want to make an international incident of her phobia.) I insist. She grumbles. But I feel safer that way.

That's the only "bad driver" attribute my grandmother has. I'll tell you, I'll ride with her anytime. She has reservations about riding with me!  

Up, up and away!
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RE: Should Old People Be Allowed On The Road?

Wed Aug 23, 2000 12:37 pm

There are some elderly people who should've quit driving years ago. However, quite a few elderly people I know are able to drive pretty well in their 70s and even 80s. I've never had any real problems in riding with them at the wheel, well, 99% of the time. The 1% I'll tell you about in a minute.

It's true that reflexes will slowly deteriorate as one get older and that eyesight is sometimes not what it used to be. Euroflyer's got a point here. This is why yearly testing is a good idea no matter what. Some people are in better shape than others, due to the lifestyle they've lived and the diet they eat, plus some other factors like genetics.

My foster dad (not to be confused with my real dad) has brothers who are in their 70s and are still quite capable of driving, despite the fact they've been deaf since birth. (Deafness is not an issue here, actually - a lot of hard of hearing and deaf people actually tend to be better drivers than hearing people on average, mainly because they're forced to rely on their eyes a lot more.) I've never had any more problems with them than any younger driver.

Speaking of those who shouldn't be driving - there is no better example than my grandfather in Sydney, Australia. He was a pretty elderly man, about 82 years old at the time my brother and I last went to Australia. His health was OK, but he cold no longer run like any man half his age.

Once, my brother and I went with him for a ride through some parts around the north side of Sydney Harbour. As we were getting home, I was talking to him and the next second, I noticed that he was cruising along the right side of the road. If anyone of you here is Australian or has been Down Under, you should notice what's wrong with the picture by now - and a Holden was coming straight at us! I warned my grandfather just in time to swerve, tires almost screeching. Even more unnerving, this was not on some country road - this happened right in the middle of Sydney.

My other relatives in Sydney have since then advised me and my brother to never go on a ride with him. Even they said that my grandfather should've stopped driving a long time ago. I frankly don't know how the transportation department or whatever division that deals with motorists in New South Wales ever let him keep on driving.

My grandfather may be a bit arrogant (that's how he is about his driving), but he's a good man and I like being with him. They should've done more to test elderly drivers like him. My real dad (his son) and the rest of us in our family sure don't want to see him get killed in a car accident. By having him and others tested yearly, he'd have stood a better chance of survival by staying off the road, and also there's a better chance of safety for others on the road, too.
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Wed Aug 23, 2000 2:09 pm

I'm not saying that I believe teenagers should be allowed on the road either. I'm talking about those elderly that all people know about. The ones that seem to drive at the level or a seriously intoxicated person.

I decided to post this today, after during a 2mi roundtrip drive to the grocery store I had 3 incidents with elderly drivers. The most serious being one running a red light right in front of me, and not even realizing that he had done so. I could've been killed. The otheres being cut off by one who was turning right and decided to turn left and one choosing to go 20mph in a 45 zone... Of the ones I could see, they seemed to be quite zoned out - not even fully realizing what was going on in their surroundings.

I believe elderly, along with all drivers (I have had problems with those of all ages), should have to take yearly or biyearly tests. And before you go bashing me on being a teenager, I am not irresponsible - I got a 99% on my driving test and a 97% on my written test when I took drivers ed when I turned 16.
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RE: Should Old People Be Allowed On The Road?

Wed Aug 23, 2000 3:55 pm

Okay, go ahead, look at my "user info" im just another "teenage-punk-that-knows-everything" anyways, about a year ago in my college speech class (i am typically a B-C student) i gave an informative speech about this very topic. After recieving an A+, I took that information and used it in a 15 page term paper for my college english class. (got a A-) If i get a chance I will try and find these papers, I still have them; but the numbers I discovered about older drivers were pretty staggering. Yes, indeed they do have a very high road fatality rate, despite what people say.. these arent exact, of the top of my head, but seniors over 70 have a higher accident % then "kids like me" (kids between 16 and 22)

Also, I lived most of my life in S.dakota where i got a drivers license when i was 14 y.o and havent had an accident or a scratch since, (i moved here to indiana when i was 15) and ive driven ALOT. Right now i drive about 100 miles a day through rush hour traffic.

In my papers I ALSO addressed the issue of us horrible "TeEn DrIvErs!!" i found some numbers and did interviews and etc.. etc.. and they proved to ME (my opinion) a somewhat crazy idea; I think in order for any kid 16-over to get a license, they must be able to drive a manual transmission. Thats right, people who drive a stick have FEWER accidents. (thats a %, dont worry i know there arent the same amount) I also am Completely convinced this would decrease the poor teen driver numbers a bit (not totally) i can go into great detail on why i think this, but by now most of you are skimming this post anyway  

Well i try to keep these short so more people read them... if you have any comments i need to expand on, please let me know!!!  


BTW, ive driven a stick my whole life, most old drivers tick me off, and I still havent gotten an "A" in school since  

RE: Brissie...

Wed Aug 23, 2000 4:07 pm

Being a responsible teenage driver has nothing to do with what I am saying.

Good for you that you scored highly on the theory. I got 100% on mine. Also good for you that you did great on the practical exam. I only got one mark deducted from mine due to the fact that I *yanked* the handbrake up, and not pushing in the button and lifting it up (this I actually questioned due to the fact, that by *yanking* the handbrake up you are assured that the hand brake is in a locked position)...but I digress.

Teenagers may have the basic skills to enable them to drive. Hell, I was able to drive when I was 8 years old (goes with being bought up in a small town community). What I was saying in my original post is that teenagers do not have the EXPERIENCE in handling dangerous situations on the road. This will only come in time.

Yes, it may be true that seniors are defensive on the roads, but in general, teenagers are ultra-offensive (just remember, I was a teenager myself only 10 years ago, so I do know what I am talking about here).

I do know what you are talking about, however, in general, I would much rather take my chances with a senior with 50 years of driving experience, than with a kid with 5 minutes driving experience out on the roads.

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RE: Should Old People Be Allowed On The Road?

Thu Aug 24, 2000 1:39 am

Remember the words you use today because, one day, sooner than you think, you ,too, will be that age. I hope, at that time, you will think back at what you've said about older drivers.

RE: Should Old People Be Allowed On The Road?

Thu Aug 24, 2000 2:23 am

I think all senior citizens should be able to drive! My grandparents both 75 years old have NEVER been in a car accident. They both wear glasses, but half the population does. Now my cousin who is 17, has been in three accidents that have been her falt in the past year! Yes, i am 15, and able to drive, but i drive RESPONSABLY! I have no problem with old people driving as long as they can operate a car safely.

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RE: Should Old People Be Allowed On The Road?

Thu Aug 24, 2000 3:01 am

Unfortunately, though many older people may feel uncomfortable driving on open roads and freeways, there really aren't any viable alternatives for them here in the United States. It can take HOURS to get somewhere by bus, because we don't have a developed infrastructure for public transportation in most of our cities, only the largest ones. And even then, there are few that cater to every-day commuters really well. Only New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia (I think) and Los Angeles currently have an underground/subway/metro system, which for sure is the best and quickest way to get around.

My grandmother is 86 years old and still drives. She has never been in an accident which was her fault, only rear-ended once by a driver much younger than her who was not paying attention and slammed into the rear of her Volvo 940 while she was waiting at a red light. And she is very thankful she was in a Volvo!

My grandmother prefers not to drive very far from home, and certainly now avoids expressways and freeways because she is unsure of her reaction time. But driving around the city, she is a safe, consciencious driver. However, the same cannot be said of all elderly people. My grandmother had a friend who had his car nearly totaled when, at age 80, he pulled out into an intersection to make a right-hand turn without looking for cars coming from the left. It was a miracle he was not killed or injured, as his car was bent badly at the B-pillar by the ensuing collision. There have been other elderly people killed because of a similar lack of attentiveness, but then, there are plenty of inattentive drivers UNDER the age of 70.

I do not think elderly people should NOT be allowed on the road. I think they are no more a menace than the idiots I see every day who are talking on their cellular telephones while driving. Everyone should pay more attention on the road, and be more courteous.

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RE: Should Old People Be Allowed On The Road?

Sat Aug 26, 2000 7:34 pm

I don't think that they should be taken off the road but maybe a special coloured number plate or something so they have a valid excuse for going 10/20km/h under the speed limit.
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RE: Should Old People Be Allowed On The Road?

Sat Aug 26, 2000 9:58 pm

The thing that bothers me is that they can not realize that there are some people in a hurry to get somewhere. They hold up traffic on the main street going less than 30 km/h when you can go 70 without getting pulled over. They also don't realize the fact that they can make a right turn on a red. They also don't realize that the slower traffic is supposed to stay in the right lane. And you don't need to come to a crawl before making a turn. And you don't make a left turn from the right lane. And you don't pull out in front of somebody and not accelerate quickly. And you don't need a mile opening to merge into traffic going 50 km/h. And they really should learn to use their signals.

Another thing about seniors: They are not observant. I almost hit 3 yesterday going to work because they decide to cross the highway right in front of me and proceed to walk across it as slow as possible. And they don't even know they do it.

But there are some good seniors that drive real well. Just for the record I have my full drivers license and am off of probation and have never gotten a ticket or been in an accident. I did 2 things wrong on my road test, I turned my signal on to soon, and I didn't signal into the parking space in an empty parking lot.
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RE: Should Old People Be Allowed On The Road?

Sun Aug 27, 2000 2:04 am

shhhh!!! did anyone hear that???

i think i heard someone say "public transportation"

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RE: Should Old People Be Allowed On The Road?

Sun Aug 27, 2000 8:12 am

Whether drivers are 15 or 95... they're OK to be on the road in my opinion if they drive safe and responsibly.

(But there are Minimum speed limits on the highways )
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RE: Brissie...

Sun Aug 27, 2000 9:17 am

Brissie_lions, you said it best, I want to add to what you said, I think for the first 6 moths of having their actual(not permit) liscence,they should have an adult with them and senior citizens should have health requirements to drive on the roads. 
Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...

RE: Should Old People Be Allowed On The Road?

Sun Aug 27, 2000 10:19 am

Last time my great aunt drove, the year was 19 odd 17 and she crashed a Ford Model T in the Alley outside their old house in Detroit. 88 years young this october, she hasnt driven a car since 1917.
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RE: Should Old People Be Allowed On The Road?

Sun Aug 27, 2000 11:11 am

Some old people are bad drivers. About a month ago I almost got broadsided by some old lady that ran a red light, then about 4 days ago some old people changed lanes right after I pulled out of the toll both and I almost hit them. Then about 2 weeks ago some lady in the left lane cut right in front of me to turn into a gas station, I was about 2 inches away from hitting her car. It might just be where I live, Southeast GA. 95% of the drivers here dont know how to drive, I get cut off everywhere I go.
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Don't Generalise

Sun Aug 27, 2000 2:22 pm

What a load of rubbish.. you cannot categorise everyone because of age.. I consider dickheads who own sports or fast cars and don't know how to control them much more worthy of license cancelations..

there is a big difference between knowing how to drive and knowing how to control a vehicle.. everybody will earn to drive but it takes experience to learn control.. how a vehicle will react if you go into a long right corner @ 160kmh and apply brakes at 1/2 apex.. and then all cars are different.. my car is rear wheel drive so it does what i tell it to.. 4wd and front wheel drive handle different again.. anyways i could write books on how and why to drive ur car but back to the point.

haha and u thought i had a point.. I see my friends getting their licenses and then pushing their cars to the limit.. (the cars not their skill limit) when will people slow down and think of what theyre doing.. just go and visit a spinal unit see how people with broken backs live


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Should Asian People Be Allowed On The Road?

Sun Aug 27, 2000 2:29 pm

well should they? what about in asia? can they drive in their own continent?


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RE: Should Old People Be Allowed On The Road?

Sun Aug 27, 2000 2:51 pm

C'mon guys, I was stating my opinion based on my experiences. Take it for what I meant, nothing more. Mearly a topic of discussion in which I started and decided to add input too. Thats why the topic is a question and not a statement.

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