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Carter711

Driving tests for elderly drivers?

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This week there was an accident up here in NH where an 81 year-old driver ran over a 7 year-old boy, and continued driving unaware of the accident w/ him pinned under the car until horrified onlookers waved her down. The boy has lost an ear, suffered some brain damage and remains in critical condition in a Boston hospital.

Ironically, NH and Illinois are the only states that require elderly drivers to take driving tests every 5 years after they turn 75. Several other states have looked at similar legislation, but the AARP has been extremely successful in lobbying against it.

The driver in the NH accident has since been declared a 'hazard to public safety' and had her license suspended. The incident has also spurred calls for more frequent driving and vision tests for elderly drivers there.

What do you guys think. Should elderly drivers be required to pass a driving test every few years?

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Except that statistics show the overwhelming number of accidents on the highway are caused by males between the ages of 16 to 21. If you want to make a significant dent in accidents, then focus on this group is where the effort should go. Statistics also so that soccar moms between the ages of 18 - 35 break the most traffic laws and the excuse most often given by this group is "they didn't know they were doing anything wrong".

Everyone should be required to take a driving test every 5 years.

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Perhaps a driving test every five years wouldn't hurt.

I recently heard that cell-phone related auto accidents have now become more common than drunk-driving accidents. I wish this would be addressed as well as elderly driving.

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Perhaps a driving test every five years wouldn't hurt.

I recently heard that cell-phone related auto accidents have now become more common than drunk-driving accidents. I wish this would be addressed as well as elderly driving.

I believe Dekalb County, Georgia has passed a resolution mandating a $500 fine for anyone who causes an accident while on the cell phone......not a bad idea really.

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I believe Dekalb County, Georgia has passed a resolution mandating a $500 fine for anyone who causes an accident while on the cell phone......not a bad idea really.

Yea, but how do you actually prove that? I mean, the person getting hit won't be concentrating on what the other driver was doing at that exact moment of the accident. If there is that hefty of a fine, only an idiot would say "yea I was on my cell phone." The only time a person would probably get fined for this is if there was an eye witness that sticks around that actually noticed they were on their cell phone.

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I don't understand what giving another driving test would accomplish. I mean, the written test is trivial, and with the driving test you just have to use your common sense.

The driving age should probably be raised to 18 though.

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The driving age should probably be raised to 18 though.

And the drinking age should be lowered to 18 as well. Imagine, on one day you'll be eligible for the military, be able to buy a 6-pack, a carton of smokes and a lottery ticket, get your license, and register to vote.

I'm not sure elderly drivers should be tested every 5 years after a certain age. Maybe if they cause an accident they should be forced to take a test or give up their license.

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This event in New Hampshire is truly a tragedy, but aren't most elderly people extremely careful drivers?

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Everyone should be required to take a driving test every 5 years.

Agreed. I'd love to see that happen.

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I recently heard that cell-phone related auto accidents have now become more common than drunk-driving accidents.

This doesn't surprise me at all. I'm a very impatient person, so in rush hour traffic I'm a very defensive AND offensive driver. When someone is cruising along in the passing lane, being passed by cars in the SLOW lane, I get ticked and tend to put on the pressure to make the SOB move over. Yesterday on my way home from work, I was going down I-20 when I got behind some guy driving 50 in the passing lane, and being passed by people in the slow lane! So I put the pressure on him to make him move over, but it didn't work. I discovered it wans't because he was trying to be a jerk, but because he was oblivious to the world around him. He had his cell phone to his ear and was driving like he had blinders on. He never looked back, to his side, or down at his speedometer. The very second he finally put down the phone, he immediately sped up to 85 and moved over so I could pass him. It was like once the phone was detached from his ear, his brain was switched back on!

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The driving age should probably be raised to 18 though.

The problem is inexperienced drivers, not young drivers per se. If you raise the driving age, you'll just raise the age of the most accident-prone demographic. Better to implement a system of graduated licensing, in which driving privileges are allowed in stages.

This event in New Hampshire is truly a tragedy, but aren't most elderly people extremely careful drivers?

They are, often to the point that their caution becomes a liability. I don't know how many times I've nearly rear-ended some elderly driver who comes to a complete stop, rather than merging, on a freeway onramp. Or drives twenty below the speed limit on the Interstate. Or stops at every crosswalk, regardless of whether there are pedestrians nearby.

There have been studies that demonstrate that above a certain age, the elderly are just as accident-prone as beginning drivers. In old age, one's response time ,vision, and hearing decline. This can't make for a safe driver, and I'm all for mandatory testing every five years.

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When I lived in Florida there was a cliche/joke about elderly female drivers--

"the little old blue-haired lady so short only the top of her head shows, while she drives an enormous 15 year old Cadillac 15 MPH when the speed limit is 40 MPH!"

It's amusing because in Florida ya see it all the time:) LOL

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When I lived in Florida there was a cliche/joke about elderly female drivers--

"the little old blue-haired lady so short only the top of her head shows, while she drives an enormous 15 year old Cadillac 15 MPH when the speed limit is 40 MPH!"

It's amusing because in Florida ya see it all the time:) LOL

Sad but true. Albeit, I'll give some of them ol' ladies credit, I've been caught behind a few going 35 in a 40. Once I was tailgated by what appeared to be an 80 year old man driving a dodge viper. That put me in my place.

I also love people who think school zones are in effect ALL the time. I've been behind people in July at like 9PM on a saturday that are driving ten under through them. it usually figures that it's somebody past retirement age, and then I just feel bad for tailgating.

I wish there was a way to message car to car tell people the speed limit or that slower traffic keep right is an actual law. Or even better, a little indicator that works via GPS on your dashboard that indicates the speed limit. If you want to go to the "Big Brother" theory, it could flash after say 10 over and shut your engine off for five minutes if you go 20 over. It then phones you in to dispatch so you can plead your case (OnStar style) as to what compels you to go 20 over the speed limit. It is a limit after all, whether rational or not. I usually drive a safe "faulty equipment" 7mph over. I laughed at cop once (no lie,) for pulling me over in huntersville doing five over. He said I was lucky to get a warning, that nobody passes him on his watch. In my defense, he was driving four over on the interstate. I passed him at a snail's pace.

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while the demographic of most accidents is younger drivers, that doesn't mean that elderly drivers are not a liability.

i think mandatory testing every 2 years should be the rule. 5 yaers is a long time for someone who's 75. i think once you're 65, you should take a driving test every 2 years, coupled with hearing and eye exams. they need to develop a threshold for the hearing and vision problems to cut off certain people over a certain age. also, they should be required to submit a health report from a doctor. no need to have someone driving along and suffer a heart attack or some other issue.

cell phones should be banned while driving, completely banned, not the hands-free crap. studies have shown that drivers usnig hands free sets are just as dangerous as those holding the phone to their ear. people need to get off the phone and drive.

i also think that a more graduated licensing plan is better than increasing the age. get a permit at 16 so you can drive with your parents. get your license at 16.5, but you're limited to driving alone or with an adult until you're 17-17.5.

I wish there was a way to message car to car tell people the speed limit or that slower traffic keep right is an actual law. Or even better, a little indicator that works via GPS on your dashboard that indicates the speed limit.

it's called flashing your high beams here in RI... :P

of course that's what people do when they want to pass you even though you're doing 75 in a 65 and passing a whole line of cars... the best is when you move over and they just slow down or don't pass you at all.

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while the demographic of most accidents is younger drivers, that doesn't mean that elderly drivers are not a liability.

That's true, although the reason for all the accidents is when the younger drivers are trying to get around the elderly, there is that little problem of that good ol' blind spot where there's another car in the next lane over they just don't see in time. Checking that in the moment comes with experience. I've saved several an accident by quickly glancing over my shoulder and noticing there's a car there that isn't in my side mirror.

it's called flashing your high beams here in RI... :P

of course that's what people do when they want to pass you even though you're doing 75 in a 65 and passing a whole line of cars... the best is when you move over and they just slow down or don't pass you at all.

Oh I know, people flash their lights here too, I don't do it because I'm one of those nicer ***hole drivers. I'll get close, but not enough that you can't see my headlights, just so you remember I'm there. That is, as long as you didn't cut me off. I'm one of those people that always lets people in if they have their turn signal on. If you get in my lane just by assuming I'll let you over without asking (turn signal,) that's when I get pissed.

My biggest peave is when you're in a whole long line of cars on a two lane road and the guy behind you is tailgating, it's not like you can go any faster, there are cars in front of you. I do my best not to tailgate anybody but the first guy in line in those situations. The way I look at it is that the guy in front of me can't go faster if there is somebody in front of him.

If somebody is going the speedlimit, I'll lay back. Afterall, they're obeying the law. It's when people are going significantly under that I go into roadrage mode.

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I am in total support of more frequent driving tests for elderly drivers. Their abilities can be degrading rapidly due to ailments that they are starting to aquire. I went thru this with my mother, her eyesight failed here due to diabetes, and she lost her license. After 2 years and several laser surgeries, we were able to reverse this eye damage and get her eyesight back close to 20/20. We were able to get her license back after these surgeries along with medical documentation that her eyesight had been improved and stable.

After getting her license back, we had to prove with medical documentation and doctor's letters that she was still able to keep driving.

While not necessarily a test, for the safety of the public I would support a more rigorous routine for our elderly drivers. It's not a bad thing..

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I am in total support of more frequent driving tests for elderly drivers. Their abilities can be degrading rapidly due to ailments that they are starting to aquire. I went thru this with my mother, her eyesight failed here due to diabetes, and she lost her license. After 2 years and several laser surgeries, we were able to reverse this eye damage and get her eyesight back close to 20/20. We were able to get her license back after these surgeries along with medical documentation that her eyesight had been improved and stable.

After getting her license back, we had to prove with medical documentation and doctor's letters that she was still able to keep driving.

While not necessarily a test, for the safety of the public I would support a more rigorous routine for our elderly drivers. It's not a bad thing..

I agree, many people that have these sorts of conditions should be monitored and, if treated, allowed to get their license back. The only issue with this is, at what point do you start testing?

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I agree, many people that have these sorts of conditions should be monitored and, if treated, allowed to get their license back. The only issue with this is, at what point do you start testing?

Indeed. What do you do about the people who get imparing diseases when they are younger? The point isn't to design a test for a certain age group. The point is to have a testing program that keeps all bad drivers off the road.

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Indeed. What do you do about the people who get imparing diseases when they are younger? The point isn't to design a test for a certain age group. The point is to have a testing program that keeps all bad drivers off the road.

statistically speaking, the elderly have a higher rate of imparing problems (vision loss, hearing loss, dementia, slower response times, etc).

i don't see a problem with re-testing everyone every 5 years, but the elderly should be done more frequently, like every 2 years after age 60-65, coupled with a doctor's OK.

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Once I was tailgated by what appeared to be an 80 year old man driving a dodge viper. That put me in my place.

This guy is obviously on Viagra. :rofl:

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In light of the accident, the DMV Chief is now pushing 'degraduated' testing for the elderly, so as elderly drivers reach certain ages they have to test more frequently.

So for example after 80 you test every 3 years, after 86 every year. If adopted it would be the first law of its kind in the nation.

DMV Chief: Test elderly more often

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Without a doubt elderly people should have to take driving tests. I was in a parking lot once about to make a turn onto the part right infront of the building but I couldn't right away since there was a couple cars infront of me waiting to do the same. Right next to me an elderly man starts backing up while I am honking my horn. I continually honk the horn something like 5 or 6 times but he next stops backing up and hits my car. If some elderly people can't even hear honking horns behind them then what is going to happen when they are about to go through an intersection at the same time as a cop or firetruck that has its sirens on.

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Without a doubt elderly people should have to take driving tests. I was in a parking lot once about to make a turn onto the part right infront of the building but I couldn't right away since there was a couple cars infront of me waiting to do the same. Right next to me an elderly man starts backing up while I am honking my horn. I continually honk the horn something like 5 or 6 times but he next stops backing up and hits my car. If some elderly people can't even hear honking horns behind them then what is going to happen when they are about to go through an intersection at the same time as a cop or firetruck that has its sirens on.

nevermind not hearing you... did he not look back to see you? come on now. most accidents in parking lots are due to someone just not paying any attention to their surroundings.

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He must of just started backing up without looking back at all. It's not like I suddenly drove up when he started backing up. I'd been there for a while.

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Well it looks like a happy story in the case of the child who was hit by the elderly driver in NH sparking this debate.

Mom says Manchester boy's progress is amazing doctors, inspiring family

o24a1tj.jpg

BOSTON

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