Driving While Elderly - page 3

Two stories, same basic question. Story #1: Elderly gentleman, kyphosis with limited neck mobility, oxygen dependent, severe COPD, walker dependent, very mentally sharp but medically fragile- refuses... Read More

  1. by   jeastridge
    Quote from morte
    perhaps counterintuitive, but I think part of the problem is that the older driver should put in MORE road time, not less. keep up with the laws, and drive at off times (as much as possible).
    You make a good point. Driving is a skill. The idea of maximizing the chances of success by staying in practice and also by driving at off times has merit. Thank you for sharing.
  2. by   Irish_Mist
    The main issue with driving and seniors is that driving is viewed as part of their independence. That's understandable. The other issue is that people fail to realize that driving is a privilege, not a right. If you are not physicaly, mentally, or cognitively able to handle the responsibility of driving, you do not have the right to drive. Period. One's desire for independence is not more important than the safety of others.

    I can't tell you how many times I have seen downright dangerous driving from senior citizens whether it be almost hitting someone, going 35 in a 60 mph zone, etc. I do not believe ALL elderly people drive dangerously so please note I am not being discriminatory. I have had many 80 somethings who are sharper than a tack and I have no qualms about them driving. I think there should be some sort of annual requirement from the DMV to submit proof from a physician that it is okay for someone, say over 85 years old, to continue driving. Above all, we need to stop worrying about offending people who shouldn't be driving and worry about the public they are endangering.
  3. by   Neats
    I think a universal driver test is a good start with new testing required upon age milestones or medical conditions. With specific CPT/ICD medical coding and the patient name forwarded to DMV triggering driver testing could potentially keep the roads safe. The age requirement could be triggered with your initial license. These testing requirements should not cost an arm or leg, be affordable or waived on a sliding scale would offset some of the costs. As an added bonus when there is concern and police run your license plate driving record they will be able to see the possibility of why they are stopping you is that you have a medical condition (they just do not know which one because only a possible medical alert pops up-HIPAA approved) and this is dependent upon you driving your own vehicle.

    Additionally a mandated vehicle compliance should be made in that once every 24 months we should prove to the DMV that our vehicle is in good working order, that tire treads have the minimum tread, that breaks are in good working order...it is a responsibility for each vehicle owner to provide to keep our roads safe. A nominal fee again would offset the cost.

    I am not in favor of government oversight as I think we have way too much now but some boundaries that are somewhat broad would be nice and some what comforting to know all vehicles and drivers around me have upkeep to take care of when dealing with transportation.

    Lastly I am in favor of being taxed more monies if we had good public train transportation. I think we rely too much on our own mode of transportation in cars because our public transportation is in such disrepair or non-existent. NO BUSES.
  4. by   jeastridge
    Quote from Irish_Mist
    The main issue with driving and seniors is that driving is viewed as part of their independence. That's understandable. The other issue is that people fail to realize that driving is a privilege, not a right. If you are not physicaly, mentally, or cognitively able to handle the responsibility of driving, you do not have the right to drive. Period. One's desire for independence is not more important than the safety of others.

    I can't tell you how many times I have seen downright dangerous driving from senior citizens whether it be almost hitting someone, going 35 in a 60 mph zone, etc. I do not believe ALL elderly people drive dangerously so please note I am not being discriminatory. I have had many 80 somethings who are sharper than a tack and I have no qualms about them driving. I think there should be some sort of annual requirement from the DMV to submit proof from a physician that it is okay for someone, say over 85 years old, to continue driving. Above all, we need to stop worrying about offending people who shouldn't be driving and worry about the public they are endangering.
    Thank you. Well said. Joy
  5. by   jeastridge
    Quote from Neats
    I think a universal driver test is a good start with new testing required upon age milestones or medical conditions. With specific CPT/ICD medical coding and the patient name forwarded to DMV triggering driver testing could potentially keep the roads safe. The age requirement could be triggered with your initial license. These testing requirements should not cost an arm or leg, be affordable or waived on a sliding scale would offset some of the costs. As an added bonus when there is concern and police run your license plate driving record they will be able to see the possibility of why they are stopping you is that you have a medical condition (they just do not know which one because only a possible medical alert pops up-HIPAA approved) and this is dependent upon you driving your own vehicle.

    Additionally a mandated vehicle compliance should be made in that once every 24 months we should prove to the DMV that our vehicle is in good working order, that tire treads have the minimum tread, that breaks are in good working order...it is a responsibility for each vehicle owner to provide to keep our roads safe. A nominal fee again would offset the cost.

    I am not in favor of government oversight as I think we have way too much now but some boundaries that are somewhat broad would be nice and some what comforting to know all vehicles and drivers around me have upkeep to take care of when dealing with transportation.

    Lastly I am in favor of being taxed more monies if we had good public train transportation. I think we rely too much on our own mode of transportation in cars because our public transportation is in such disrepair or non-existent. NO BUSES.
    You make some good, positive suggestions. Thank you for your comment. Joy
  6. by   Munch
    Quote from Neats
    I think a universal driver test is a good start with new testing required upon age milestones or medical conditions. With specific CPT/ICD medical coding and the patient name forwarded to DMV triggering driver testing could potentially keep the roads safe. The age requirement could be triggered with your initial license. These testing requirements should not cost an arm or leg, be affordable or waived on a sliding scale would offset some of the costs. As an added bonus when there is concern and police run your license plate driving record they will be able to see the possibility of why they are stopping you is that you have a medical condition (they just do not know which one because only a possible medical alert pops up-HIPAA approved) and this is dependent upon you driving your own vehicle.

    Additionally a mandated vehicle compliance should be made in that once every 24 months we should prove to the DMV that our vehicle is in good working order, that tire treads have the minimum tread, that breaks are in good working order...it is a responsibility for each vehicle owner to provide to keep our roads safe. A nominal fee again would offset the cost.

    I am not in favor of government oversight as I think we have way too much now but some boundaries that are somewhat broad would be nice and some what comforting to know all vehicles and drivers around me have upkeep to take care of when dealing with transportation.

    Lastly I am in favor of being taxed more monies if we had good public train transportation. I think we rely too much on our own mode of transportation in cars because our public transportation is in such disrepair or non-existent. NO BUSES.
    I'm with you. Not every senior should be painted with the same brush. That being said they definitely need to put some policies in place so that the seniors who do drive can do so safely. They need to have something in place to weed out the seniors who can't drive. Annual roadtests for those over 80 is a good start.

    See where I live mass transit is abundant. Trains, busses and taxis are a dime a dozen. That's in the suburbs of NYC. In the actual city you have the subway as well as busses and taxis. Most people in the city actually don't have cars..don't need them. I know its different other places but still. Just today I was walking to my car and as I was walking it sounded like ice crunching together(it just snowed a lot over here in the tri-state area so there were mounds of snow/ice everywhere). I look behind me and a woman who was at least 80 was coming out of a side street and she hit right into a car parked into the shoulder and she kept on going. A few of us flagged her down to stop because she did do some damage to the car. She gets out and has NO idea why we flagged her down. Turns out she thought she hit into the mound of snow not the car. What if someone was standing in that spot?
    Last edit by Munch on Jan 10 : Reason: Grammar
  7. by   morte
    Quote from Munch
    Keeping up with the speed limit is another issue. I cant tell you how many times Ive been driving on the parkway then had to come to a screeching halt because a senior is doing 30 in a 55MPH zone completely oblivious to everything going around them.

    It was mentioned what is a senior to do if they don't have family to help run errands, get where they need to go etc. So many people of all ages can't drive for several reasons be it medical or financial(they can't afford a car) or maybe they simply are afraid to drive. They find a way to make do. Their are services that provide rides to medical appointments. After I had brain surgery I wasn't cleared to drive for quite a while. My ex-boyfriends next door neighbor called a cab to bring her to the grocery store every week before the days of grocery delivery being as frequent as it is now. Needing to go to the corner store to get a lottery ticket isn't dire enough to warrant putting the public at risk. They can ask a neighbor to pick it up for them. I know someone who can't drive because she has epilepsy. Not being able to tell what the difference between the accelerator and brakes is just as precarious as someone having a seizure while on the road.
    I get a kick out of your "seniors are so slow" idea. I work 34+miles from home, work 4+shifts a week, and I am the one passing you in the high speed lane...
  8. by   Munch
    Quote from morte
    I get a kick out of your "seniors are so slow" idea. I work 34+miles from home, work 4+shifts a week, and I am the one passing you in the high speed lane...
    My grandma was the same when she was alive and driving. That's why I said I don't paint every senior with the same brush. If a senior can keep up with the speed limit and knows the difference between the accelerator and brakes I have no issue with them driving. But around me on the parkway the right lane is nicknamed the grannylane for a reason.

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