On Friday, June 4, we posted our most recent Open Thread: How’s My Driving? asking your thoughts on older drivers and when and why you should give up the keys.
As a refresher, younger people, a study said, fear telling their parents to give up the car keys more than they fear talking about plans for when they die. The NIH has an extensive website all about older drivers (find it here) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has published statistics on older drivers that are hopeful but still daunting. States have been stepping up to check on the driving skills of older people, too; for more information, the list is here.
Most people who responded have stopped driving in the past few years for preventative measures. Some had personal experiences getting in accidents, either as older drivers themselves or with another older driver.
Our takeaway: there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to when you should give up your keys. And, when you become an older drive, other people will have strong opinions about it, whether you are involved in an accident or not.
“A year ago I had my daughter drive with me and do a critique as though she were the state examiner. I passed. However, although my reflexes are good, one of my eyes is not what it should be – even with glasses. So I decided to stop before I became one of the many bad drivers on our highways.”
Commenters seemed to agree that seniors who reach a certain age (many said +/- 70) should be required to pass additional driving tests.
“I really do feel strongly that people who have reached a certain age…maybe 70… should be required to pass a test, or something similar, when renewing their license.”
If you’re not on the road – you might not be missing out (Virge – here’s looking at you!). A few people commented that driving simply isn’t what it used to be. With increased road activity and an overall lack of road courtesy, the joy of driving has dwindled.
“So much going on, motorcycles, scooters, all running the lights and stop signs, people jumping in front of you on their phones not caring that the light changed.”
Have more to say about this topic? We’ll keep this posted for a while so you can add your ideas, second thoughts, or even third thoughts. Keep sending your thoughts in the comments and we’ll revisit this topic again!
Suzanne Myklebust is Senior Planet’s Associate Director of Communications – stepping in to post this Open Thread Update for Senior Planet’s Managing Editor Virge Randall while she is out of town. Send your suggestions for future Open Threads to Virge at firstname.lastname@example.org.