Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Elderly and Their Buicks

If teenagers are too young to drive, when is it going to be that you are too old to drive?
We get stuck behind them occasionally, the 80+ year old driver who can't even tie his/her own shoes anymore sitting behind the wheel of a huge tank of a car driving 25 in a 45. When they turn, they go around the corner doing 1 mph with no turn signal and nearly take out the street sign.
I was behind an elderly gentleman one day on the highway, I was doing 75 (in a 65, oops) when I came up on this guy doing at least 35mph. He was swaying back and forth, basically driving right down the middle of both lanes. I tried to pass him, but I was afraid he'd slide over and take out the side of my car. When I finally got around he appeared to be 110, his little old lady sitting next to him with her huge black granny wrap around glasses, and in the back seat were two small grandchildren. I honestly was afraid the children were in danger.
There are some cases were an elderly person may be a good driver, but this is very rare. My great uncle Johnny was 91 and in my opinion a good driver. My grandpa on the other hand at 82 sucks when it comes to driving. He's been in a few fender benders cause his reflexes aren't too great.
I was reading an article on USA Today about a 90 year old woman who's neighbor witnessed her fly out of her driveway and cross into his yard taking out a bush. Then proceeded down the road only to end up wrecking into a young driver on her way to school. The 16 year old died a few days later. We often see in the news that elderly drivers cause accidents, some fatal. There was a wreck that shut down the highway by where I live caused by an 80 year old man who fell asleep behind the wheel at 2pm in the afternoon. He died and so do the victims in the truck he hit head on.
Maybe it shouldn't be "at this age" is the cut off date, but after a certain age you have to take drivers tests again like a 16 year old does. If  you fail the eyesight examination at the DMV, SORRY you can't drive anymore. I want the people driving around me to be able to see me. My own grandpa whom I love dearly can't turn his neck to see when he turns out of a parking space or getting onto the highway from an entrance ramp, so my Nana  is his "eyes" and she's never driven! It scares me to death!
Elderly people are a great asset to us young people, shouldn't we do our best to protect them from dangerous situations that they may not be aware of?

Here's a good checklist I found online that I'm going to give to my mom for her to look over for my grandpa.

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