By 2025, a whopping one in five licensed drivers will be 65 years of age or older, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Advancing technology will probably help make older Americans better drivers, but at some point many of us will lose the ability to drive safely.
On Today’s Question we asked this: “Should older drivers have to take extra tests or exams?” The answers, both on MPRnews.org and our Facebook page, were mostly along the lines of yes, heck yes, dang straight. Here is a sampling of the answers:
“My 85-year-old Grampa won’t listen to any of his children or grandchildren when we tell him he really shouldn’t be driving anymore. His vision is fine, but his mind and reaction time aren’t as sharp as they once were. His pride is stronger than his self-awareness. My grandmother with Alzheimer’s didn’t lose her license until a cop spotted her absentmindedly circling a parking lot for 20 minutes, and followed her home. This was months after she drove right through her own garage door.”
“I live by a retirement community. Their driveway intersects the sidewalk. Can’t count how many close calls I’ve had while running and riding my bike by there. I constantly preach to my son to be extra extra careful riding by the retirement community.”
Some people feel like targeting older drivers for more tests is discriminatory, however. Deb says,
“Just like younger drivers there are older drivers of all abilities and alertness. I’m not sure extra driving tests for only older drivers will be anything other than a method to target them.”