The Issue on Elderly Driving
“There is a need to help aging individuals recognize their changing abilities and adapt their driving practices appropriately, as well as a necessity to identify, assess, and regulate older drivers with diminishing abilities who cannot or will not voluntarily adapt their driving habits (Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Recognition Efforts).” Are these elderly drivers endangering our well-being? A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publication reported, “In 1997, older people made up 9 percent of the resident population but accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities and 17 percent of all pedestrian fatalities” (NHTSA) Although there are those who age at very different rates than others, the public needs to understand that the dangers of elderly individuals driving cannot be put aside any longer.
As one grows older, their driving abilities begin to change and that’s perfectly normal. Now even though aging doesn’t automatically mean one needs to stop driving, it does, however, serves as a reminder to pay attention to warning signs of advanced age. By keeping safe driving practices and reducing the risk factors, many will be able to continue driving safely in their seniority. Although driving can be a major mean of independence, one must face the truth about giving up the keys when no longer having the capacity to drive.
Because people mature in years differently, no set age can be established as cutoff to when one should stop driving. However, elderly drivers are more likely to get into accidents and receive traffic citations than younger drivers. Actually, fatal crash rates increasingly rise after a driver has reached the age of 70. This sharp increase is a result of age factors such as; impaired hearing, decreased vision, and slowed motor reflexes.
Aging can result in reduction of coordination, strength, flexibility, and have a major impact...