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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in a town with an over 30% senior population and getting out of town is the most dangerous 5 miles of any drive (no, it's not in Florida). I've gotten to the point that anyone in a Buick automatically doubles my avoidance radar. I know there are no easy answers to this, but until Americans in general stop looking at driving as a right this will never be addressed.
 

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I have noticed a change from unaware to disoriented in the elderly drivers. I am not sure if it is increased traffic or MTV but the look on the face of the pushing 80 set has changed to total confusion.
 

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The article touched on a few things that might be changed to help the situations.



1. Make the cities more liveable and end the perception of "combat zones" that many people fear.



2. Provide more widespread and affordable public transportation for those that live in the 'burbs or rural areas.



Also, not all elderly people are poor drivers/riders. I know many people who are sharp and active in their late 70's.



Retesting should not be an issue, though.
 

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Last week I watched a blue haired old lady pull out of a side road onto a divided highway. Instead of crossing the break in the median before turing left into the southbound lanes she turned left into oncoming northbound lanes. (my lane) Fortunately I was the only one coming and I tried to communicate by honking/waving/gesturing but she just looked at me like I was crazy and kept going. At least she was (from her perspective) on the right side of my lanes. I pulled over and looked back and she finally realized as a group of oncoming traffic forced her into the grassy median. She successfully pulled off a 42 point turn around in the grass. Still.... holy crap.
 

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The old folks versus the arrogant sportbikers that think they know how to ride. Looks like I need an M1 Abrams to commute in for self protection. My Kawasaki Mach III doesn't stand a chance, except the smoke clouds give me some cover.
 

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Did that strike a nerve?

There is no debate about the dangers of youth or ****tails on the road.

The point is; Old drivers my not be "THE" problem but they are "A" problem. And it is a problem that is going to get worse.

We don't need to start the reaction time/eye sight debate. It exist and it creates a dangerous situation on the road.
 

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Re: Did that strike a nerve?

The highest accident categories here in Canada are 65. Both are much higher than other demographics. Technically, seniors are less of a risk that teenagers per capita, but only slightly. There are considerably less of them on the road *at the moment* than teenagers, but that will change as the boomers age out of the driving population.
 

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People driving impaired is the problem. Whether it is old age, drunk, cell phone, or stupidity induced. There has been three fatalities (in car crashes) where I live and two guys in comas, from motorcycle wrecks, in ICU already this year. On the motorcycles one guy was an experienced rider, who chose not to wear a helmet, when a truck turned in front of him and he hit the side of the truck with his head. The other guy had his bike two days, no insurance, no helmet, and he drove across a slightly raised median which caused him to overreact and flip the bike causing him to land on his head. I am not pushing for helmet laws just showing that bad things happen due to your own or other's poor judgement. I think the Drivers ED taught in schools is a joke. The MSF classes are ok but not where they could be. The govm't needs to pull it's head out of it's tail and reform driver's training. They spend millions in ludicrous road signs, step grants (programs paying officers OT to write tickets), and other crap programs which are reactionary in nature to the problems. Since it is only a bandaid to the gushing wound to the problem it needs to be reformed. I am not wanting bigger govt to keep me safe just make better use of my tax $$ for better training for all drivers. Or it can continue to put out crap programs and when I retire I can develop my own training school, which people do want for cars and bikes, and make $$ myself in true capatilist form.
 

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Saw a study a while back indicating that confused (elderly) or drunk people who enter the wrong side of divided highways will stay in what they think is the slow (right) lane. This happens to be the passing lane for everyone else and the stats were shown (something like 90%) that most head-on collisions with drivers on the wrong side of the median occur in that lane.

 

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Just wait until the baby boomers start hitting 70. They'll be an unstoppable voting block, so forget about any legislation to get them meaningfully re-tested and off the road. They're far too narcissistic to be swayed by arguments about causing a hazard to others, and their perpetual childishness means they won't admit they're old and limited. It's going to be a bloodbath on the nation's sidewalks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Cause or are involved?

Where could you possibly find a statistic on the age bracket of "caused" accidents? Older drivers may not be "involved" in a large percentage of accidents, but my belief is that they cause a high percentage and continue to drive on blissfully unaware.
 

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As I enter my 9th decade of life, it occurs to me that civility has ended. The rampant ageism that has manifested itelf on these web pages causes me great emotional distress. Fortunately, I won't remember much of this discourse by the end of the day (if not by the end of this response). And that is the secret of the happiness of the elderly. It is not that we don't care - we simply don't remember. I have vague recollections of running into the front window of Murphy's Cafe a year or two ago and I believe they took away my license, but I really am not quite sure what the final outcome was. Nobody has stopped me from driving or riding, so I guess it all ended up for the best.



To you youngsters out there who continue to blame the old folks for their mental impairment, simply think of us as in a perpetual state that you are briefly in, every Saturday night and Sunday morning. At least we don't choose to be unaware of ourselves and surroundings on a voluntary basis.
 

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Lots of interesting stories and proposed solutions - I've even had a couple of experiences myself with drivers passing me in the wrong direction (the first guy was killed in a head-on a quarter mile down the road, I never did find out what happened to the old lady doing around 70 on the wrong side of the I-70 concrete divider just west of Denver). The first incident was a useful reminder that I shouldn't rely on other drivers to know what they're doing (I was 16 and hadn't learned that yet). IMHO, that's the bottom line - we can rail against the lack of enforced laws against cell phone-using drivers or geezers who should be shot if they get in a car, but none of that's going to happen. All we can do is to try to stay alert and not assume bonehead actions aren't going to take place that put us in danger (sometimes we might even do them ourselves). Personally, I find it easier to be alert and watchful if I'm not pi**ed off at some idiot that's just risked my life - it's a waste of time, and it probably just extends my reaction time when I have to respond to the next jerk (we seem to have an inexhaustible supply in every area I've lived).

 
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