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Old 03-02-11, 01:52 PM   #1
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Older Car Drivers

Older Car Drivers!!

There should be a point where we stop..IMO, after 60, we should be tested more and more stricter too. I got blasted for that opinon..

This happened in my town. In fact, I was at JHU selling one my bicycles the day before..

This is sad, very sad.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/mar...,4632453.story
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Old 03-02-11, 01:58 PM   #2
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I would like to see um tested at 80 years old.

Also the 60y/o that have the handicap tags.
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Old 03-02-11, 02:24 PM   #3
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??

This comes up every once in awhile. Meanwhile there is no evidence that older folks are involved in more accidents where they are at fault. There is lots of evidence that once they are involved they are more likely to be injured or killed. The latter statistics are often misused in an attempt to prove the former point. Or, like what happened in one city, the local police put a special emphasis on detecting and apprehending senior drivers "for their own and community safety". Of course the biased statistics they then used to justify restricting older drivers followed.

By your argument people ought to be taken off bicycles as well. After all they could ride into other cyclists or cause accidents. Come to think of it I've had more problems with older bicycle riders than with older car drivers. Hmmm

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Old 03-02-11, 02:24 PM   #4
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Agreement

My mother drove into her 80s, until we convinced her that it was unsafe. Her peripheral vision wasn't good, her reactions were slow, and her cognitive abilities were diminished. A bad recipe for the other people with whom she shared the road.

I'm sad for that JHU student and his family. I hope that he pulls through...

I'm also sad (not angry) for the driver and her family, who didn't have the courage to confront this sooner, and now a young man's life has been affected.
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Old 03-02-11, 02:48 PM   #5
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I think there needs to be a lot more scrutiny on who gets to be behind the wheel of a car. Aging drivers with diminishing sensory and physical capacity is one of many concerns that ought to be better addressed.
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Old 03-02-11, 02:53 PM   #6
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Tragic! I hope Nathan recovers well, and is not impaired in any way.
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Old 03-02-11, 03:17 PM   #7
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??

...there is no evidence that older folks are involved in more accidents where they are at fault...
By your argument people ought to be taken off bicycles as well. . . Come to think of it I've had more problems with older bicycle riders than with older car drivers. Hmmm
I'm an "older driver"--66, a former sports car racer--and also an older cyclist, with more than 40 years' experience as an adult. I'm sympathetic to both sides here, and I'd absolutely reject an arbitrary age-based ban on driving. Some people can drive well into their 70s or even 80s, and some shouldn't be licensed at 25 (I know a 25-year-old woman, a former scholarship-quality college athlete, who had NINE car crashes between the ages of 16 and 23, when she moved out of our neighborhood).
I'm pretty sure your first point is wrong. I've seen studies that show a significant increase in crashes past 65-70, and virtually all "runaway vehicle" or "unintended acceleration" crashes occur to older drivers who hit the gas instead of the brake (Toyota's going to come away clean on this, wait and see). For my part, I was a decent racer 30 years ago, but I no longer have the vision or reflexes to compete, so I don't do it. I've also noticed myself making some lazy mistakes on the street, like not quite turning my head far enough to be SURE nobody's lurking in the blind spot. I've never crashed in about 1.3 million miles on the road (racing doesn't count), but I've come closer in the last two or three years than in the previous 50. So far, it's all stuff I can compensate for with extra attention, but when it reaches the point that I really can't do it, I'll stop driving.
As for the bike, screw it. If you don't want to risk getting run over by a geezer, stay clear.
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Old 03-02-11, 03:38 PM   #8
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In my state one can no longer renew a driver license by mail. It requires an in-person visit to DMV and a vision test. If all states haven't done that I think they should. And add a driving test even though it may add cost to the renewal process.

One real problem though is the number of unlicensed and uninsured drivers on the road. In the arrests and court judgements published in our local paper it is pretty much routine for the person involved to not have a valid driver license and to be uninsured. I think this is enough of a problem driving without a valid license ought to be added to the offenses for which a vehicle can be confiscated. But, we get what society as a whole wants. And right now society as a body winks at the need for a driver license.

Personally I know people in a wide variety of ages who should not be behind the wheel. I also know people of all ages who drive safely. When I judge I can't very well use myself as a reference point because like you I've had racing experience as a baseline. But, when I ride up beside a person who I know is in their 20's and who has such poor vision they can't recognize me when I'm less than 3 feet away I think it is fair to assume that person is a highway hazard.
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Old 03-02-11, 04:00 PM   #9
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This reminds me of an old Dear Abby column (or was it Ann Landers?). Anyway, everyone knew Grandpa was no longer safe behind the wheel, but no one wanted to be the one to tell him it was time to give up driving. At a family gathering, Grandpa hit put the car in drive instead of reverse. Sadly, his grandson was standing in front of his car. Grandpa's mistake cost his grandson both legs.

Elderly drivers don't make up a very high percentage of the motorists I encounter on a daily basis, but they are the majority of the motorists who put me at risk by not seeing me. By the way, I ride in a class 3 flagger's jacket, so I'm not exactly invisible. We all need a trusted friend or younger relative who will tell us when "it is time".
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Old 03-02-11, 04:17 PM   #10
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In my state one can no longer renew a driver license by mail. It requires an in-person visit to DMV and a vision test. If all states haven't done that I think they should.
When my M-I-L neared 86, it was time to renew her license. We all knew it was time for her to give up driving and were sure she wouldn't pass the written test. My wife took her to DMV for the test. She failed. The nice lady at the counter turned the test over (there were two different sets of questions, one on each side) and picked one question at random. She told M-I-L that, if she got it right, she'd get her license. Fortunately, she got it wrong. The nice lady encouraged M-I-L to go home and study so she could take the test again. My wife never took her back and she hasn't driven since. They really tried hard to keep her behind the wheel.

I agree there are bad drivers of all ages and there are good drivers who are "up there" in years. There needs to be a better way to determine who is allowed to drive.
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Old 03-02-11, 04:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
I'm an "older driver"--66, a former sports car racer--and also an older cyclist, with more than 40 years' experience as an adult. I'm sympathetic to both sides here, and I'd absolutely reject an arbitrary age-based ban on driving. Some people can drive well into their 70s or even 80s, and some shouldn't be licensed at 25 (I know a 25-year-old woman, a former scholarship-quality college athlete, who had NINE car crashes between the ages of 16 and 23, when she moved out of our neighborhood).
I'm pretty sure your first point is wrong. I've seen studies that show a significant increase in crashes past 65-70, and virtually all "runaway vehicle" or "unintended acceleration" crashes occur to older drivers who hit the gas instead of the brake (Toyota's going to come away clean on this, wait and see). For my part, I was a decent racer 30 years ago, but I no longer have the vision or reflexes to compete, so I don't do it. I've also noticed myself making some lazy mistakes on the street, like not quite turning my head far enough to be SURE nobody's lurking in the blind spot. I've never crashed in about 1.3 million miles on the road (racing doesn't count), but I've come closer in the last two or three years than in the previous 50. So far, it's all stuff I can compensate for with extra attention, but when it reaches the point that I really can't do it, I'll stop driving.
As for the bike, screw it. If you don't want to risk getting run over by a geezer, stay clear.
Good personal background and summary of the issue. I'm with you. Sure, younger drivers cause accidents by being reckless (ironic word...) but older driver cause accidents by diminishment of physical abilities, many of which can be measured or observed. Having recently had cataract surgery at age 59, I'm all for testing drivers periodically as they get older. No need to ban anyone.

So sorry about the cyclist who was injured. I really hope that he makes it.
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Old 03-02-11, 04:25 PM   #12
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...No need to ban anyone...
Then again, with 40,000 deaths and 4 million injuries caused by motorists per year on our roads, maybe there are a whole lot of people of all ages who should be banned from operating motor vehicles on the public streets.
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Old 03-02-11, 05:04 PM   #13
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Then again, with 40,000 deaths and 4 million injuries caused by motorists per year on our roads, maybe there are a whole lot of people of all ages who should be banned from operating motor vehicles on the public streets.
I just did a quick search and couldn't find anything approaching these numbers. Can you share where you got them?
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Old 03-02-11, 05:31 PM   #14
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It would certainly be reasonable to actually test people periodically and to increase that frequency as a function of age. I'm 65 am in good physically condition with reasonable reflexes, but night vision deteriorates inexorably as you age (actually after 30 or so). I can certainly drive safely at night, but having clean headlights with bright bulbs is extremely important. Maybe there will come a point where while otherwise fit to drive I shouldn't be driving at night. I'd be all in favor of the equivalent of the Wonderlic test for drivers; you never know whom you would get off the roads.
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Old 03-02-11, 05:53 PM   #15
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My MIL was 81 years old and refused to stop driving. The doctor wouldn't take her license away (they have the duty and authority to do that)even though she was getting a little wiggy in the head. It took an accident (thank goodness no one was hurt) for the dmv to require her to have a driving test. She had never been required to retest before that. She flunked within the first couple of blocks, the tester made her get out of the drivers seat and drove back to the dmv himself and that was that.

Most people are afraid to give up their independence, but for MIL, it has been a great thing. She is now in contact with someone nearly every day as she has hired a young single mom as her driver for errands. She still lives on her own and does very well, thank you, but driving had to stop.
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Old 03-02-11, 06:19 PM   #16
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I just did a quick search and couldn't find anything approaching these numbers. Can you share where you got them?
Looks like the numbers are going down. Here is data through 2008 on deaths when there were 37,261 fatalities:
http://www.census.gov/compendia/stat...es/11s1104.pdf

And here is the data on injuries through 2008 when there were 2,346,000 injured:
http://www.census.gov/compendia/stat...es/11s1105.pdf
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Old 03-02-11, 06:28 PM   #17
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Looks like the numbers are going down. Here is data through 2008 on deaths when there were 37,261 fatalities:
http://www.census.gov/compendia/stat...es/11s1104.pdf

And here is the data on injuries through 2008 when there were 2,346,000 injured:
http://www.census.gov/compendia/stat...es/11s1105.pdf
I notice a large drop from 2007 to 2008. I would guess that has something to do with a bit of a spike in fuel costs in 2008. It looks like cheap fuel is deadly.
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Old 03-02-11, 06:39 PM   #18
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How about road testing everyone every ten years, regardless of age?

I've always felt that the written test should include some basic mechanics and physics as it applies to driving a car. Nothing heavy duty, just some questions about braking and motion.

How are driving road tests conducted in Germany and Holland?
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Old 03-02-11, 06:40 PM   #19
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When my M-I-L neared 86, it was time to renew her license. We all knew it was time for her to give up driving and were sure she wouldn't pass the written test. My wife took her to DMV for the test. She failed. The nice lady at the counter turned the test over (there were two different sets of questions, one on each side) and picked one question at random. She told M-I-L that, if she got it right, she'd get her license. Fortunately, she got it wrong. The nice lady encouraged M-I-L to go home and study so she could take the test again. My wife never took her back and she hasn't driven since. They really tried hard to keep her behind the wheel.
We had a similar experience with my wife's grandmother at about that age. Arthritis meant she had to turn her entire body in order to look left or right, she was as near as makes no difference stone deaf and had to sit about 3 feet away from the TV to see it. But the old hag kept on driving until we took her keys away. And oh what a fun visit that was.

Prior to that, she had failed the eye test but on the advice of a friend, re-took it at a different, more "senior friendly' office. I've no idea how, but she passed and was given a license.

Here's what gets me. If a bartender serves drinks to someone, who then causes an accident by driving while impaired, the bartender is held personally liable. So why the fizz shouldn't that DMV clerk be held accountable for any hypothetical accident my G-I-L might have caused?
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Old 03-02-11, 06:40 PM   #20
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Testing only older drivers?

Congratulations, you've found one of my buttons!!

I believe we need to retest every driver every time they renew their license, at least. Just think of the added revenue each state will gain (or loose due to inefficient management of license and testing bureau). let's don't just focus on the older generation.

I also believe we need to punish cell phone chatting and texting drivers by confiscating their phone, permanently.

And while we're at it....no more revoking ones driver's license for DWI and other horrific offences without also confiscating their vehicle, permanently. In my part of the world, the only time one seems to need a license is to show to the officer if one happens to stop you. We get way too many situations where serious accidents are caused by unlicensed drivers with a list violations as long as your arm.

It's way past time that we get serious about hi-way safety. Our current system is a joke!!
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Old 03-02-11, 06:47 PM   #21
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How about road testing everyone every ten years, regardless of age?

I've always felt that the written test should include some basic mechanics and physics as it applies to driving a car. Nothing heavy duty, just some questions about braking and motion.

How are driving road tests conducted in Germany and Holland?
Driving in Germany

"Germany is a country that takes its driving very seriously. This is understandable when you realize that a German
driver’s license costs over $2000, after a minimum of 25-45 hours of professional instruction plus 12 hours of theory"

"The practical, on-the-road training time has to include night driving, autobahn experience, in-town driving, and a multitude of other driving situations. The test for a German driver’s license includes questions about the mechanical aspects of an automobile, in addition to the usual examination on the rules of the road..."
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Old 03-02-11, 06:48 PM   #22
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Testing only older drivers?

Congratulations, you've found one of my buttons!!

I believe we need to retest every driver every time they renew their license, at least. Just think of the added revenue each state will gain (or loose due to inefficient management of license and testing bureau). let's don't just focus on the older generation.

I also believe we need to punish cell phone chatting and texting drivers by confiscating their phone, permanently.

And while we're at it....no more revoking ones driver's license for DWI and other horrific offences without also confiscating their vehicle, permanently. In my part of the world, the only time one seems to need a license is to show to the officer if one happens to stop you. We get way too many situations where serious accidents are caused by unlicensed drivers with a list violations as long as your arm.

It's way past time that we get serious about hi-way safety. Our current system is a joke!!
Hear, hear! Well said.

My state doesn't even give a written test for license renewal. So, new laws get passed and folks have no idea that things have changed since they were sixteen or moved here. Good grief.
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Old 03-02-11, 06:56 PM   #23
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Driving in Germany

"Germany is a country that takes its driving very seriously. This is understandable when you realize that a German
driver’s license costs over $2000, after a minimum of 25-45 hours of professional instruction plus 12 hours of theory"

"The practical, on-the-road training time has to include night driving, autobahn experience, in-town driving, and a multitude of other driving situations. The test for a German driver’s license includes questions about the mechanical aspects of an automobile, in addition to the usual examination on the rules of the road..."
Thanks for the link.

Now, can anyone imagine a typical American driver actually undergoing any of these requirements?
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Old 03-02-11, 07:05 PM   #24
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So, think there should be a 50+ sub forum of the Living Car Free forum?
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Old 03-02-11, 07:22 PM   #25
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I'm an "older driver"--66, a former sports car racer--and also an older cyclist, with more than 40 years' experience as an adult. I'm sympathetic to both sides here, and I'd absolutely reject an arbitrary age-based ban on driving. Some people can drive well into their 70s or even 80s, and some shouldn't be licensed at 25 (I know a 25-year-old woman, a former scholarship-quality college athlete, who had NINE car crashes between the ages of 16 and 23, when she moved out of our neighborhood).
I'm pretty sure your first point is wrong. I've seen studies that show a significant increase in crashes past 65-70, and virtually all "runaway vehicle" or "unintended acceleration" crashes occur to older drivers who hit the gas instead of the brake (Toyota's going to come away clean on this, wait and see). For my part, I was a decent racer 30 years ago, but I no longer have the vision or reflexes to compete, so I don't do it. I've also noticed myself making some lazy mistakes on the street, like not quite turning my head far enough to be SURE nobody's lurking in the blind spot. I've never crashed in about 1.3 million miles on the road (racing doesn't count), but I've come closer in the last two or three years than in the previous 50. So far, it's all stuff I can compensate for with extra attention, but when it reaches the point that I really can't do it, I'll stop driving.
As for the bike, screw it. If you don't want to risk getting run over by a geezer, stay clear.
well said. can't really add anything to it.
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