Skip to comments.Elderly drivers’ risk not clear-cut
Posted on 04/05/2010 7:30:38 AM PDT by KeyLargo
Elderly drivers risk not clear-cut
The debate about when to take the keys away from the elderly flared up again when 86-year-old driver struck three teenage Chicago cyclists on March 24
By Erika Slife and Bonnie Miller Rubin, Tribune reporters
April 3, 2010
Alice Topping was in her convertible, soaking in one of fall's last nice days, when she came to a four-way stop in her Evanston neighborhood just as another car approached.
Assuming the other driver would stop at the sign, she began to drive through the intersection when she felt a hard crash.
"Look what you've done to my car!" the elderly driver cried as he got out of his vehicle. But as the drivers inspected the damage her right rear side, his front it was evident who was responsible, Topping said.
"It finally clicked in with him that he had hit my car," she said.
The memory of the 2009 crash came flooding back to Topping on March 24 after she heard that 17-year-old Faith Dremmer, a friend, had been killed when an 86-year-old driver veered across the center line, plowing into her as she biked in southern Illinois with two University of Chicago Laboratory School friends.
It made Topping and countless others wonder: Is enough being done to protect motorists from seniors who shouldn't be driving? When is it time to take the keys away?
"NO ONE over the age of 70 should be permitted to operate a motor vehicle. Period," one outraged reader opined online.
(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...
Can’t wait to see how this thread evolves ... me, I’m all for removing geezer access to the keys once they demonstrate that they can’t see over the dashboard.
Assuming the other driver would stop at the sign, she began to drive through the intersection when she felt a hard crash
Mistake #1 Never Assume the other driver will stop.
Is enough being done to protect motorists from teenagers and anyone using cell phones, eating or doing one's hair, who shouldn't be driving? When is it time to take the keys away?
OTOH, when do we begin to use our brains?
I’m more concerned with braindead mushheads like Jack Murtha, Teddy Kennedy, and Robert Byrd dictating our legislation when they (A) don’t even comprehend what they are voting on and (B) they won’t be alive long enough to have to live under it.
What demographic has the highest death rate in motor vehicle crashes. My 21 year old grandson has already lost 3 of his HS classmates to auto crashes and every one involved speeding...
Two words.. The Villages. Two more words.. Goft carts.
Golf carts, too
"Cant wait to see how this thread evolves ... me, Im all for removing geezer access to the keys once they demonstrate that they cant see over the dashboard."
It’s a skills issue and faculties issue. Apply the same rules you would for your licensed physician, dentist, etc. and the answer is clear. If you don’t have what it takes you shouldn’t be licensed, that is the PURPOSE of licensing, a demonstration of competency for a task.
I was in a bad accident last Monday (everyone okay, thank the Lord! Car a disaster, though). I was driving along, doing the speed limit, a woman shot out of an intersection without looking (even though she had been sitting there stopped. As I passed, she accelerated. “I didn’t see you,” she said. I couldn’t help but wonder: How could you not see me when I was passing directly in front of you!!!??? Cop did not give her a ticket!!!!!! Just said to her, “Hey, don’t worry about it, this stuff happens.” If I hadn’t zig-zagged when I saw she was coming right at me, I would have been seriously injured).
Watch out for the other guy.
As an elderly man was driving down the freeway, his cell phone rang.
Answering, he heard his wife’s voice urgently warning him, “Herman, I just heard on the news that there’s a car going the wrong way on Route 280. Please be careful!”
“It’s not just one car,” said Herman, “I’m on Route 280 and there’s hundreds of them!”
405, The Movie
They are all three dead. Only one of them is too stupid to know it yet.
405, The Movie
I think all drivers should probably be retested on a regular basis, maybe when their driver’s license comes up for renewal every 5 years or whatever. For drivers over a certain age, maybe license renewals and retests should come more often. There are elderly drivers on the road who just haven’t got what it takes to drive safely any more - but they’re hardly the only ones. Lot’s of younger licensed drivers never really had what it took in the first place.
Wendy’s - Where’s the Beef (Featuring Clara Peller - Drive Thru) - 80’s
Driving is a privilege, not a right. I’ve been a long time advocate of check rides for everyone, not matter what age, every few years. I know plenty of people in their 30’s that can’t drive for crap.
Current Illinois law:
Illinois Driver License Information for Seniors
4-year renewal cycle for ages 21 to 80 (mail-in every other cycle for drivers with clean records and no medical report review requirements).
Vision test at in-person renewal. Written test every 8 years unless clean driving record.
20/40 in better eye for no restrictions; 20/70 in better eye results in daylight only restriction. May have 20/100 in better eye and 20/40 through bioptic telescope.
From ages 81 to 86, reduction of interval to 2 years. At age 87, reduction of interval to 1 year. No renewal by mail, vision test required, and on-road driving test required at age 75+.
2 years for drivers ages 81-86; 1 year for drivers 87 and older.
Renewal applicants 75 and older must take a road test.
Several years ago, I was in a shoe store with my kids. I had a ‘great’ parking space near the store...right up front. We heard a huge crash. My SUV got t-boned by an elderly man. I had been getting my youngest out of his carseat...on the passenger side (that got hit) moments before.
The man was somewhat angry at the scene (somehow it wasn’t his fault in his mind that he hit a parked vehicle). To my knowledge he was never sited by the police (my vehicle had to be towed) and the man’s son refused to turn the accident into insurance. They paid, out of pocket, for my rental, bodywork, repainting the vehicle. Only reason why, so dad wouldn’t lose his license. I wanted to pursue it (imo, the father should not have been drving, but my hands were tied).
At least drivers’ go through competency testing for license renewal. Not so politicians.
I do no know at what age the keys should be taken away from a driver, but let’s have an agreement , that whatever age that is should also be the retirement age for politicians and Supreme Court Justices who are helping cause the train wrecks in our government.
We certainly do not need Congressmen and Senators who have to die in Congress.
My 87 year old parents each have their own cars and drive all the time. Neither one of them should be driving. Mom just renewed her Florida divers license— no problem. It’s good for 5 years...
Bump, basic defensive driving, establish eye contact, make sure they see you.
That looks about right.
My M-i-L is 92, and refuses to quit driving.
I would also add, that over a certain age, any No Fault provisions should be removed.
I was sitting in the parking lot of the local mall one day when all of a sudden I heard this terrific BOOM, and looked up in time to see an elderly lady hit the median in the parking lot right next to me.
She flew right over the median and continued on as if nothing had ever happened. She had to be doing at least 20-30mph.
Scared the crap right out of me.
Sounds like Al Gore’s son Al Gore III when he’s been driving one toke over the line.
We need to start driving stakes through these guys.
Anything worth killing once is worth killing twice.
If you don’t think they should be driving can you do something about it?
You’ll feel terrible if they hurt someone.
I know a few 30 somethings who should not be driving.
How about those women who think applying makeup while at speed on a highway is ok?
parking lots are not public streets and thus (with some exceptions) no tickets.
The left call GW Bush “Junior” (as in Bush Jr.) when in actually it was Al Gore who was really Al Gore Jr. (with his son in tow, Al Gore III).
GW’s name was similar to his father’s name, but not enough to be “Junior” as Al Gore was.
But then, the Left got their panties in a wad because Bush was a member of Skull and Bones. Not so concerned when they learned that John Kerry was also a member.
Hey, if they are farding in their own cars, what’s it to you?
I was almost in the same type of accident last week. I was going the speed limit through an intersection and a moron pulled out right in front of me (probably without even looking). Fortunately I was able to stomp on the brakes just in time to avoid hitting his truck. If I hadn’t anticipated that he wasn’t going to stop like he should have I would have slammed into him.
My 89 year old mother hasn’t driven a car in 2 or 3 years but still has a valid license. She hasn’t driven because nobody has dared tell her she shouldn’t.....and she really shouldn’t. Her reflexes are noticeably impaired due to arthritis and general old age.
I’ll be 65 in June and I hope if I ever get impaired due to age or medical condition, that I’ll be wise enough to just stop driving.
I saw someone post that age 70 should be the cut off to be allowed to drive. That’s ridiculous, my 79 year old step father is an excellent driver. It all depends on the individual, there’s no magic number at which everybody should quit driving, as you noted - that’s why we have drivers exams..
i had a friend “no longer with us” who was a driver instructor for the RTD in Los Angeles . his opinion after 20 some years of trying to teach people to drive city buses was , i will get flamed here bad no African-American women or any Asians should not be allowed to drive by the way he was African- American miss you Ed
Nonsense. My father is 72. Just passed his DL renewal, including having to retake the driving test. Did just fine. He stays off the freeways by his choice, uses a Garmin, I've ridden with him, no problem. I'd bet money that reader is under 25.
I think all drivers should probably be retested on a regular basis, maybe when their drivers license comes up for renewal every 5 years or whatever. For drivers over a certain age, maybe license renewals and retests should come more often. There are elderly drivers on the road who just havent got what it takes to drive safely any more - but theyre hardly the only ones. Lots of younger licensed drivers never really had what it took in the first place.
Even the elderly can have a good day and pass whatever dumbed-down test the government will offer.
The problem is elderly whose family (and doctor) know they shouldn’t be driving, and don’t know how to take away the keys. Maybe a family member should be able to force a retest of an elderly family member anonymously, and the test could be a more serious one, perhaps requiring a doctor’s sign-off.
Like you I don't believe in hard age limits. But we should all be aware of what our parents can & can't do.
I saw someone post that age 70 should be the cut off to be allowed to drive. Thats ridiculous, my 79 year old step father is an excellent driver. It all depends on the individual, theres no magic number at which everybody should quit driving, as you noted - thats why we have drivers exams.”
Agreed, my father is 80 and drives limos for a living. Has many customers that ask for him specifically. Hope I can do the same at his age!
I agree. Let’s have some road testing done regularly and have some family involvement. I always think it’s so sad when there is a missing elderly person on the news, and they bring out some family member who says “well Gramps has been having some issues with dementia, but we never thought he’d drive off and get lost.” I always wonder if the reason the family didn’t take the keys away was because they were either in denial about how bad it was or didn’t want to be saddled with having to drive the elderly person around if they grounded them.
My mom turns 92 this summer. Still drives all over the place. (No - not that “all over the place”!) No more long trips, but she makes it to her doctor’s visist in the snow, lunches, church, concerts, etc.
She will drive the 2 miles from my brother’s house back home at night if she has to. But will usually have one of the other relatives bring her home as she doesn’t like driving at night anymore.
Never had an accident (not even the side of the garage door!), takes some class and test every so often to keep her insurance down too. But she is the exception, and is a very young 92. (She wanted to try to get up on water skis again on her 90th birthday, but we wouldn’t let her!)