Elderly Drivers

November 6, 2017
By Jlippy SILVER, Coconut Creek, Florida
Jlippy SILVER, Coconut Creek, Florida
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Everybody reaches a certain age where it’s only right, for the safety of the drivers on the road and the driver him or herself. Once you  reach 60 it should be mandatory to go for drivers tests every 5 to 10 years.
   

There have been multiple debates about this topic and it's a very sensitive topic to the elderly. On one side you can see that it can be  very risky for elderly drivers over the age of 70 to be driving. As you get older your eyesight gets worse, situational awareness could  weaken and things start going downhill for them. At the same time,  a car to them represents freedom and if you take that away it's a  sense of feeling that their freedom has been taken and that it reminds them that their getting older and are losing their  independence which can lead to depression.
   
Fifty percent of the middle-aged population and 80 percent of  people in their 70s suffer from arthritis, crippling inflammation of  the joints, which makes turning, flexing and twisting painful. This is  just one of the medical issues seniors suffer from. Here are some  other physical changes that affects driving; slower reaction time, 
depth perception changes, vision problems, hearing, problems,  decreased ability to focus, feelings of nervousness and anxiety. It's  quite risky for senior drivers to be driving and it would save so  many accidents.
   
If seniors would go for every ten year driving tests it would be a  way of telling if someone is physically and mentally in control of the car and if they pass then that's great but it would just be a way to be cautious and minimize the rate of injuries and deaths. This would be a game changer because fatal crash rates increase beginning at age 75 and rise sharply after age 80. In 2014, nearly 5,709 senior drivers were killed and 221,000 were injured in traffic crashes due to elderly drivers and they were around the age of 70 - 85 years of
age. In conclusion having drivers test every 5 to 10 years would make a huge impact for the drivers on the road and the drivers themselves.


The author's comments:

This was a very important piece to me because my brother and I were driving one day and we almost got into a very bad car accident. We looked over to see the driver and it was a little elderly man in the front seat. He started merging into our lane and completely oblivious to that their was a car. This just proves my point that its not their fault perse but their awareness weakens with age. I really hope you enjoyed my article and hope to write more on different topics like this 1 


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