I Think I Can, I Think I Can

31 01 2013

Dale BertramAs I get older (not that I’m old, you understand) I think more and more about what it will be like when someone tells me I’m too old to drive! I can understand why so many elderly people are reluctant to give up that freedom…and why loving family members are reluctant to ask them to. One state in particular is helping to take that dread away from family members by requiring drivers over aged 70 to take a driving test every two years and if they have a progressive disease such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s they may be required to retest more often. Police data from 13 states does show that older drives are less frequently involved in fatal crashes.

It seems to me that the testing they do in Iowa might be the fair way to handle the situation. There shouldn’t really be a set age that requires you to stop driving. It should be based on your ability to pass tests. When younger drivers start out they have restrictions and as they age and prove themselves, those restrictions are lifted. This could be the reverse of that. If you pass the test and then keep getting involved in accidents or get tickets you would then be restricted.

Older drivers tend to:
• Get confused in heavy traffic
• Not maintain proper speed
• Lose mental focus
• Not maintain speed limits
• Not make proper left-hand turns
• Not yield the right of way
• Have slower reflexes at stop signs, traffic lights, etc.
• Have more difficulty with the glare of night driving
• Drive medicated
• Not be able to see as well

In case, like me, you are curious about how well those Iowa drivers are doing, here is the information from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety telephone survey. Out of 522 Iowa drivers over age 70, 290 were required to take the road test, 190 passed with no restrictions, 93 had restrictions and six lost their licenses.

On a brighter note, I’m told that manufacturers are still working on the driverless car concept and a company in New Zealand is expected to start selling personal jetpacks, capable of 30 minutes of sustained flight, any day now!

Happy Motoring!

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Fairway Auto Repair

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