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NEWS YOU CAN USE: When Should Seniors Hang Up The Car Keys?


Health & Wellness  (tags: senior care, driving for seniors, driving skills, safety, society, protection, prevention, humans, Body-Mind-Spirit )

Cal
- 781 days ago - npr.org
With a growing population of baby boomers, officials are bracing for a surge in senior drivers. Statistics tell us that accidents increase after the age of 65, and fatal accidents are more likely after the age of 75.



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Comments

Jennifer C. (169)
Monday October 8, 2012, 4:26 am
Thanks.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday October 8, 2012, 4:31 am
Thanks, noted.
 

Naoko I. (259)
Monday October 8, 2012, 5:21 am
Thanks. I'm glad both my parents gave up driving "voluntarily" without any serious accident.
 

Carol H. (229)
Monday October 8, 2012, 6:21 am
noted, thank you
 

Past Member (0)
Monday October 8, 2012, 6:27 am
There do need to be more tests and safeguards put in place for the over 60's.
 

Alice C. (1797)
Monday October 8, 2012, 6:51 am
I hang up my car keys everyday in the kitchen ~ Age has nothing to do with it : )
 

TomCat S. (234)
Monday October 8, 2012, 8:55 am
Because sudden COPD flareups can knock me out, I will not put others at risk by driving. Sadly, not everyone is responsible.
 

Debra Van Way (12)
Monday October 8, 2012, 1:56 pm
I confiscated Mom's keys years ago. Her driving was terrible always but a few years after Dad passed-she kept locking her keys in the car and one of us would get the call to go "save her". I think we were saving other people truth be told. Her license expired and I told her they said she couldn't drive any more. They just happened to be her kids, but what she didn't know probably saved a life or two including her own.
 

Christeen Anderson (539)
Monday October 8, 2012, 2:54 pm
When it is no longer safe for them and for other driver's.
 

Tom Edgar (56)
Monday October 8, 2012, 3:07 pm
In Australia Mandatory health checks are in place after 70 yrs. At 85 I still drive town (I live in the Bush) once a week. Have driven since I was fourteen, Older people do have experience, and if they are sensible drive within their capabilities recognising their reaction times are not as they were. My vehicles which I shared, with my late son,was damaged four times and the last one totalled as it was driven into a ditch avoiding a kangaroo, NOT by me all those were by my son. I support testing regularly and not only for the elderly. There are a lot more irresponsible youngsters who are a danger, I was once one myself.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday October 8, 2012, 3:11 pm
They should hang up their keys when horses and buggies are passing them. If you can't do the speed limit and you refuse to pull over to let the mile-long traffic built up behind you, to pass, get off the damn road!
 

faith v. (13)
Monday October 8, 2012, 3:46 pm
My uncle drove to the shops when he was going on 90, had trouble reading signs (but he knew his way to the mall) and had noticeably S L O W reactions, including working out what had been said to him.
Why was he still behind the wheel? His doctor (! ! !) recommended it because his wife couldn't walk any more and would otherwise have been housebound.

Diabetics in danger of sugar shock are not allowed to drive taxis, buses or lorries no matter what their age.
Wonder how many of them still drive privately.
 

Karen B. (8)
Monday October 8, 2012, 4:36 pm
thanks.
 

Karen L. Lew (1)
Monday October 8, 2012, 6:17 pm
I am finding that I forget how to get to places (like my dentist's office) many. many times. It's embarrassing, but it's not endangering anyone. I think "getting lost" is not necessarily the reason to stop an older person from driving. And unless my children are willing to start doing the driving for me or hire someone to help me, or somehow miraculously create public transportation that would get me to these places (and assure that I can remember the transfers, etc.), it won't work. I'll simply turn into more of a hermit and eventually decide it's not worth sticking around anymore. (a 70-year old woman whose driving is not dangerous except for getting lost occasionally).
 

Gloria H. (88)
Monday October 8, 2012, 6:22 pm
Maybe seniors should stop texting and using their cell phones while driving too? You can survive a crash from a slow moving vehicle better than one driven at high speed by a texter.
 

Edgar Zuim (48)
Monday October 8, 2012, 7:55 pm
I do not know if there is an age limit for driving. I know there are many young drivers, which cause many accidents by being drunk, drugged or even speeding. Responsibility and common sense should prevail both for the young and for the oldest people.
 

Tom Edgar (56)
Tuesday October 9, 2012, 1:22 am
From my observation it is more likely that the more youthful would be texting, for starters I have NEVER texted, wouldn't know how, and in any case I have never owned a cell phone. Whilst diminished ability does come with age for some, diminished ability is not confined to the experienced elderly. An over abundance of youthful inexperience plus an attitude of "It won't happen to me" sees more youngsters in fatal accidents than the elderly who know that the approaching termination of life is an ever present certainty.

As an example I was recently on holidays in the U S A and was offered the use of a vehicle in a west Texas town. I refused as I was sure I would contravene unknown rules and would be driving on the "Wrong" side of the road which would be a problem. In Sydney a much younger group of four Americans hired a vehicle and all four lived to the first corner when they turned into an oncoming truck on the left hand side of the road.
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday October 9, 2012, 12:22 pm
I'm a senior, I do not use a cell phone, I have one for emergency, & have never texted, I have driven over 50 years, with a perfect record, never have had a accident of any kind, I hang mine up when I get home from somewhere.I have never gotten " lost " either.
 

Alice C. (1797)
Tuesday October 9, 2012, 12:50 pm
I worked in the emergency room of a hospital many in thier teens ~ 20's ~ 30's and on up who have gotten into accidents ~ some did not survive.
 

Ellen G. (0)
Tuesday October 9, 2012, 5:04 pm
I live in senior housing. I am 65 and gave up driving about 5 years ago because I had a couple of close calls. I do take several medications and felt that I was no longer a safe driver and did not want to hurt anyone else by being stubborn. It was very difficult to adjust as I was used to just hopping into car whenever I needed something but I have survived. I do have to say I will not get in a car with many of the people who live here. Many of them should not be driving. I believe doctors should have to report who is taking certain medications or many medications as well as those with conditions that could interfere with driving safely and these people should be checked with a driving exam and road test. Most won't do it voluntarilary and many don't have enough contact with family to have them intervene.
 

Mike and Janis B. (7)
Wednesday October 10, 2012, 5:39 am
People are individuals and should not be all lumped in a dangerous drivers. It is a good idea to have retesting at age 70 or 75 but then it would be good to have that every 5 years for those inconsiderate middle aged idiots who drive in cars without indicators and those youngsters who have no regard for other road users. However, to say to someone who is a safe driver (which isn't dependent on age at all) you can't drive when many of us live in towns which use one excuse after another to not have public transportation in place is utterly stupid.
 

John Gregoire (261)
Wednesday October 10, 2012, 6:29 am
Nice thoughts by city dwellers. try living in the country with absolutely no transportation services and be 20 to 50 miles away from a store. Bet you change your tune.
 

Carol Henderson (7)
Wednesday October 10, 2012, 5:39 pm
I know a few people that need to have their license taken away from them. They don't pay attention to signs, go through stop signs and speed (60 in a 40 mile zone). I feel that 'everyone' needs to be retested every five years or so. And not just we senior citizens. Stop and think about it: once you get your license you never have to have another road test, ever again. Just plain stupid if you ask me. And people need to use both hands on the steering wheel, which a lot of people in New York don't seem to think is necessary.
 

Alice B. (241)
Wednesday October 10, 2012, 7:31 pm
Sadly the cutbacks in services here in the USA mean less accessible/elder-friendly buses & of course taxis are unaffordable for most of us seniors on fixed incomes; and mass transit in most of the country is terrible - here in Minneapolis we're seeing indefensible cutbacks to existing light-rail expansion plans. TERRIBLE - and seniors will suffer in particular. If I didn't have to drive I wouldn't, now at age 65 - but I have no options now where I live. DISGUSTING IN THE 21st CENTURY.
 

Monica D. (580)
Wednesday October 10, 2012, 11:47 pm
We need better public transport and cycle paths, so that more people of all ages can hang up their car keys. Let's move to an environmentally friendly future.
 

Julie W. (21)
Thursday October 11, 2012, 4:16 am
I'm 75, and have no intention of hanging up my car keys for quite a while. I mostly drive on familiar routes, won't go into the city anymore, and rarely drive at night. I am still alert and active, and the only accidents I have had in my life were caused by other drivers - usually younger.

But young drivers scare me, they can be so aggressive and impatient. If you want to see courtesy on the roads, look at older drivers.

 

Patricia N. (8)
Saturday October 13, 2012, 12:04 am
Here in Ontario, Canada seniors must have a written and eye test at 80 yrs. Then they must attend a safe-driving lecture. If they pass, they have to do that every two years. At 73 I have found that my reflexes are not what they used to be so I'm very careful. I do not make left turns unless I have an arrow on busy streets, I try to do shopping trips after lunch hours and before or after work hour traffic, and I do not drive at night. I realized long ago that it was best to live in a small town with taxis and buses and delivery service to be ready for that coming day of no driving. Also, I don't drive in winter anymore with the heavy snow we get here. However, not all seniors police themselves. It is very hard to give up the freedom of driving whenever and wherever but it comes to us all in the end.
 
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